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1653 East Main Street 
~— Rochester. New York 14609 USA 
(716) 4fl2- 0300- Phon. 
(716) 288 - 5989 - Fox 









''i^i?^ 264850 

Copyright, 1918, by YaU Unaernty Pnu 


my good friend 

(Henri d^Arlea) 

this tribute to the men 
of his race and faith is 
affectionately inscribed. 




Page I 



















































From the painting by C. W. Jefferys. FrmOufitot 
NEW FRANCE, 15S4-1690 

Map by W. L. G. Joerg; American Geo- 

graphioa Soeirt;^. Facing page 




France, when she undertook the creation of a 
Bourbon empire beyond the seas, was the first 
nation of Europe. Her population was larger 
than that of Spam, and three times that of Eng. 
land. Her army in the days of Louis Quatorze, 
numbering nearly a half-million in all ranks, was 
larger than that of Rome it the height of the I 
imperial power. No nation since the fail of 
Roman supremacy had possessed such resouices 
for conquering and colonizing new lands. By 
the middle of the seventeenth century Spain 
had ceased to be a dangerous rival; Germany and 
Italy were at the time little more than geographi- 
cal expressions, while England was m the throes 
of the Puritan Revolution. ^ 


Nor was it only in the arts of war that the hegt- 
mony of the Bourbon kingdom stood unquestioned. 
In art and education) in manners and fashions* 
France also dominated the ideas of the old con- 
tinent, the dictator of soda! tastes as weD as the 
grim warrior among the nations. In the second 
half of the seventeenth century France m^t 
justly daim to be both the heart and the head of 
: Europe. Small wonder it was that the leaders of 
such a nation should demand to see tl^ "clause in 
Adam's wiU" which bequeathed the New Worid 
to Spain and Portugal. Small wonder, indeed, 
that the first nation of Europe should insist upon 
a place in the sun to which her people might go to 
trade, to make land yield its increase, and to widen 
the Bourbon sway. If ever there was a land able 
and ready to take up the white man's burden, 
it was the France of Louis XIV. 

The power and prestige of France at this time 
may be traced, in the main, to three sources. 
First there were the physical features, the com- 
pactness of the kingdom, a tertile soil, a propitious 
climate, and a frontage upon two great seas. In 
an age when so much of a nation's wealth came 
from agriculture these were factors of great 
importance. Only in commerce did the French 

people at this time find themielTet outstripped by 
their neighbors. Although both the Atlantie 
and the Meditemmean bath«d flie shoiee U 
France, her people were being outdistanced on the 
aeas by the English and the Dutch, whose com- 
merdal companies were eiploitmg the wealth of 
the new ccmtinents both east and west. Yet in 
France there was food enough for all and to spare ; 
it was only because the means of distributing it 
were so poor that some got more and others less 
than they required. France was supporting at 
this time a popuktion half as large as that of 

Then there were qualities of race which helped 
to make the nation great. At aU periods in their 
history the French have shown an almost inex- 
haustible stamina, an ability to bear disasters, 
and to rise from them quickly, a courage and per- 
sistence that no obstacles seem able to thwart 
How often in the course of the centuries has 
France been torn apart by internecine strife or 
thrown prostrate by her enemies only to asfamish 
the world by a superb display of recuperative 
powers! It was France that first among the king- 
doms of Europe rose from feudal chaos to QtMy ? 
nationalism; it was France that first among ' 

continental countries after the Middle Agm 
established the reign of law throu^iout a power- 
ful realm. Though wan and tunnoOi almost 
without end were a heavy drain upon Gallic 
vitality for many generations, France achieved 
steady progress to primacy in the arts of peace. 
None but a marvellous people could have made 
such efforts without exhausUon, yet even now 
in the twentieth century the astounding vigor 
of this race has not ceased to compel the admira- 
tion of mankind. 

In the seventeenth century, moreover, France 
owed much of her national power to a highly-cen- 
tralized and dosely-knit schone of government. 
^ Under Richelieu the strength of the monarchy 
had been enhanced and thd power of the nobility 
broken. Vfh&n he began his personal rule, Louis 
'> XIV continued his woric of consolidation and in 
^ • the years <rf his long reign managed to centralize 
in the throne every vestige of political power. 
The famous saying attributed to him, "The 
State! I am the State!'* embodied no idle boast. 
Nowhere was there a trace of representative 
government, nowhere a constitutional check on 
the royal power. There were councils of different 
sorts and with varied jurisdictions, but men sat in 

them at the Kiog'g bdieit and were removable at 
will. There were parUwmU, too^ bat to 
mention them without eiphmation wouU be only 
to let the term mislead, for they were not rqpre- 
aentative bodies w parliaments in the ordinaiy 
■ense; their powers were chiefly judicial and they 
w«e no barrier m the way of the steady march 
to absolutism. The political structure of the 
Bourbon reahn in the age of Louis XIV and 
afterwards was simple; all the lines of control ran 
upwards and to a common center. And all this 
made for unity and autocratic efficiency in finance, 
in war, and in foreign a£Pairs. 

Another feature which fitted the nation for an 
imperial destiny was the possession of a united 
and militant church. With heresy the GaUican 
branch of the Catholic Church had fought a fiooe 
struggle, but, before the seventeenth century was 
far advanced, the battle had been won. There 
were heretics in France even after Richelieu's time, 
but they were no longer a source of serious discwd. 
The Church, now victorious over its foes, became 
mihtant, ready to carry its missionary efforts to 
other lands — ready, in fact, for a new crusade. 

These four factors, rare geographical advantages, ^ 
racial quaUties of a high order, a strwigiy central- 


ized scheme of goverament, and a militant church, 
contributed largely to the prestige which France 
possessed among European nations in the seven- 
teenth century. With all these advantages she 
should have been the first and not the last to get 
a firm footing in the new continents. Historians 
have recorded their reasons why France did not 
seriously enter the field of American ookmization 
as early as England, but these reasons do not im- 
press one as being good. Foreign wan and internal 
religious strife are commonly given and accepted 
as the true cause of Frendi tardiness in following 
up the pioneer work olJacques Cartier and others. 
Yet not all th ) energy of nearly twenty mffljon 
people was bdng absorbed in tltese troubfes. 
There were men and m<mey to qpare, had the im- 
portance of the woric overseas only been adequatdy 

The main reason why France was last in the 
field is to be for id in the faihue of her kings and 
ministm to realise until late in the day how vast 
the possibilities at the new continent really were. 
hk a highly centralized and not over-populated 
state the authorities must lead the way in colonial 
enterprises; the people will not of their own 
initiative seek out and follow opportunities to 

cx>Ionize dktont kadi. And in Vnact Ihm «»- 
tlioritiei were not rmdy to lead. fiuUy, who 
■toed nifweme among the royal advl^ni the 
doabg yean d the afarteenth century, was oppoaed 
^ eoloiual venturea under all dreumatanoai. 
"Payoff poaaeaakma," he dedaied, "are not 
iuited to the temperament or to the genius of 
Frenchmen, who to my great regret have neither 
the peneYeraaee nor the foresight needed for such 
enterpriaea, but who ordmarily apply their vigor, 
minda, and courage to things which are immedi- 
ate at hand and constantly before their eyes." 
Cokmiea beyond the seas, he believed, ''would 
never be anything but a great expense." That, 
mdeed, was the orthodox notion in cirelrs surround- 
ing the seat of royal power, and it was * difficult 
notion to dislodge. 

Never until the time of Richelieu was any 
intimation of the great colonial opportunity, 
now quickly slipping by, allowed to reach the 
throne, and then it was only an inkling, makmg 
but a slight impression and soon virtually for- 
gotten. Richelieu's great Company of 1627 made 
a brave start, but it did not hold the Cardiaal'a 
interest very long. Mazarin, who succeeded Bicb^- 
lieu, took no interest in the New Worid; Utt 


tortuous problems of European diplomacy ap- 
pealed far more strongly to his Italian imagination 
than did the vision of a New France beyond the 
seas. It was Lot until Colbert took the reins 
that official France really displayed an interest 
in the work of colonization at all proportionate to 
the nation's power and resource. 

Colbert was admirably fitted to become the 
herald of a greater France. Coming from the 
ranks of the hourgeoiaU, he was a man of affairs, 
not a cleric or a courtier as his predecessors in 
office had been. He had a clear conception of 
what he wanted and unwearied industry in moving 
towards the desired end. His devotion to the 
Kmg was beyond question; he had native ability, 
patience, sound ideas, and a firm will. Given a 
fair opportunity, he would have accomplished far 
more for the glory of the fleur-de-lis in the region 
of the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes of 
America. But a thousand problems of home 
administration were crowded upon him, problems 
of finance, of industry, of ecclesiastical adjustment, 
and of social reconstruction. In the first few 
years of his term as minister he could still find a 
little time and thought for Canada, and during this 
short period he personally conducted the corre- 

apondoice with the colomal i^dals; but after 1669 
aU this was turned over to the Minister of Marine, 
and Colbert himself figured directly in the affairs 
of the colony no more. The great minister of 
Louis XIV is remembered far more for his work 
at home than for his services to New France. 

As for the French monarchs of the seventeenth 
caitury, Louis XIV was the first and only one to 
take an active and enduring interest in the great 
crusade to the northern wilderness. He began his 
personal reign about 1660 with a genuine display 
of zeal for the establishment of a colony which 
would by its rapid growth and prosperity soon 
crowd the English off the new continent. In the 
selection of officials to carry out his policy, his 
judgment, when not subjected to sinister pressure, 
was excellent, as shown in his choice of Frontawc. 
Nor did the Kmg»s interest in the colony dackm 
m the face of discouragement. It kept on to the 
end of his reign, although diminishing somewhat 
towards the close. It could not weU do othmise 
than weaken during the European disasters which 
marked his later years. By the death <rf Louis XIV 
m 1715 the colony lost its most unwavering friend. 

The shrewdest of French histcnians. De Tocque- 
viUe, has somewhere remarked that "the physi- 


ognomy of a govenunent may be best judged in 
the colonies. . . . When I wish to study the 
spirit and faults of the administration of Louis 
XIV," he writes, **1 must go to Canada, for its 
deformity is there seen as through a microscope.** 
That is entirely true. The history of New France 
in its picturesque alternation of sunshine and 
shadow, of victory and defeat, of pageant and 
tragedy, is a chronicle that is Gallic to the core. 
In the early annals of the northland one can find 
silhouetted in sharp relid examples of all that was 
best and all that was worst in the life of Old France. 
The pditical framewwk of the colony, with its 
strkst centralization, the paternal regulation of 
industry and conunerce, the flood of missionary 
«eal which poured in upon it, the heroism and 
courage of its priests and voyageurs, the venality 
of its administrative officials, the anachronism of a 
feudal land-tenure, the bizarre externals of its 
social life, the versatility of its people — all these 
reflected the paternity o* New France. 

The most striking weakness of French colonial 
policy in the seventeenth century was its failure 
to realize how vastly different was the environ- 
ment of North America from that of Central 
Europe. Institutions were tran^lanted bodily. 


and then amazement was expressed at Versailles 
because they did not seem to thrive in tiie new 
soil. Detailed instructions to oflScials in New 
Prance were framed by men who had not the 
slightest grasp of the colony's needs or problems. 
One busybody wrote to the colonial Intendant 
that a bake-oven should be established in every 
seigneury and that the ^ ahitants should be ordered 
to bring their dough there to be made mto bread. 
The Intendant had to remmd him that, in the 
long cold winters of the St. Lawrence valley, the 
dough would be frozen stiflf if the habitants, with 
their dwellings so widely scattered, were required 
to do anything of the kind. Another martinet 
gravely informed the colonial authorities that, as 
a protection against Indian attacks "^11 the se^- 
euries should be palisaded." And some <d the 
seigneurial estates were ejght or t^ mifes tquan! 
The dogmatic way in which the col<aiiaI oiBdali 
were told to do this and that, to encourage one 
thing and to discourage another, all by wapman 
who di^layed an astounding jgniHranoe of New 
World conditions, must have been a seme trial 
to the patience erf those haid-working officials 
who were nev» without great practical difficulties 
immediately bef<»e their eyes. 


Not enough heed was paid, moreover, to the 
advice of men who were on the spot. It is true 
that the reoommcaidations s^t home to France 
by the Governor and by the Intendant were often 
contradictory, but even where the two officialn 
were agreed there was no certainty that their 
counsel would be taken. With greater freedom 
and discretion the colomal govermnent could have 
accomplished much more in the way of developing 
trade and industry; but for every step the acquies- 
cence of the home authorities had first to be secured. 
To d>tain this consent always entailed a great loss 
of time, and when the approval arrived the 
opportunity too often had passed. From Novem- 
ber until May there was absolutely no communi- 
cation between Quebec and Paris save that in a 
great emergency, if France and England happened 
to be at peace, a dispatch might be sent by dint 
of great hardship to Boston with a precarious 
chance that it would get across to the French 
ambassador in London. Ordinarily the officials 
sent their requests for instructions by the home- 
going vessels from Quebec in the autumn and 
received their answers by the ships which came in 
the following spring. If any plans were formuUited 
after the last ship sailed in October, it ordinarily 

took eighteoi months before the royal approval 
could be had for putting them into cflfect. The 
routine machinery of paternalism thus ran with 
exasperating slowness. 

^ There was, however, one mitigating feature in the 
situation. The hand of home authority was rigid 
and its beckonings were precise; but as a practical 
matter it could be, and sometimes was, disregarded 
altogether. Not that the colonial officials ever 
de6ed the King or his ministers, or ever failed to 
profess their intent to follow the royal instructions 
loyally and to the letter. They had a much safer 
plan. When the provisions of a royal decree 
seemed impractical or unwise, it was easy enough to 
let them stand unenforced. Such decrees were duly 
registered in the records of the Sovereign Council 
at Quebec and were then promptly pigeonholed 
so that no one outside the litUe circle of officials at 
the Chateau de St. Louis ever heard of them. 
In one case a new intendant on coming to the 
colony unearthed a royal mandate of great import- 
ance which had been kept from public knowledge 
for twenty years. 

Absolutism, paternalism, and religious sdidarity 
were characteristic of both France and her cdonies 
m the great century of overseas expansion. There 


was no self-go\ emment, no freedom of individual 
initiative, and very little heresy either at home or 
abroad. The factors which made France strong 
in Europe, her unity, her subordination of all othw 
things to the military needs of the nation, her 
fostering of the sense of nationalism— these 
appeared prominently in Canada and helped to 
make the colony strong as weD. Historians of 
New France have been at pains to exphun why 
the colony ultimately succumbed to the combined 
attacks of New England by land and of Old Eng- 
land by sea. For a full century New France had 
as its next-door neigfab<»* a group of English cdo- 
nies whose combined populations outnumbered her 
own at a ratio of about fifteen to one. The relative 
numbers and resources of the two areas were 
about the same, proportionately, as those of the 
United States and Canada at the present day. 
The marvd is not that French dominion in 
America finally came to an end but that i- loaa 
aged to endure so long. 



The closing quarter of the fifteenth century m 
Europe has usually been regarded by historians m 
marking the end of the Middle Ages. The em ol 
feudal chaos had drawn to a close and states were 
being welded together under the kadenlyp ol 
strong dynasties. With this conaolidation cnm 
the desire for ezpansioii, for acquiriiig new kmds, f/ 
and for opening up new chaaiiels ol infiueooe. 
Spain, Portugal, and England wen fint m the 
field of active eq)]Qnition, seaicfamg lor stoies ol 
precious metals and lor new routes to the coasts 
ol Qrmuz and ol India. In this quest lor a dutrt 
route to the hall-labulous spires <rf Asia they had 
literally stumUed upon a new continent which 
th^ had made haste to exploit. Prance, mean- 
while, was dissqiatmg her energies on Spanish 
and Italian battl^elds. It was not until the 
peace ol Cambrai in 1529 ended the struggle with 



Spain that France gave any attention to the wwk 
of gaining some foothold in the New World. By 
that time Spain had become firmly entrenched in 
the lands which border the Caribbean Sea; her 
galleons were already bearing home their rich 
cargoes of silver bullion. Portugal, Engknd, and 
even Holland had akeady turned with zeal to the 
e3q>Ioration of new lands in the East and the West: 
French fishermen, it is true, were lengthening their 
voyages to the west; every year now the rugged 
old Norman and Breton seaports were sending 
their fleets of small vessels to gather the harvests 
of the sea. But official France took no active 
interest in the regions toward which they went. 

Five years after Lhe peace of Cambrai the 
Breton port of St. Malo became the starting point 
of the first French voyageur to the St. Lawrence. 
Francis I had been persuaded to turn his thoughts 
from gaming and gallantries to the trading pr'js- 
pects of his kingdom, with the result that in 1534 
Jacques Cartier was able to set out on his ilrst 
voyage of discovery. Cartier is described in the 
records of the time as a corsair — which means 
that he had made a business of roving the seas 
to despoil the enemies of France. St. Malo, his 
birthplace and home, on the coast (A Brittany, 

faces the EiigUah Chaimel aomewhat gouth of 
Jersey, the nearest of the Channel Islands. The 
town is set on high ground which projects out into 
the sea, forming an ahnost landlocked harbor 
where ships may ride at ease during the most 
tumultuous gales. It had long been a notable 
nurseiy of hardy fishermen and adventurous navi- 
gators, men who had pressed their way to all the 
coasts of Europe and beyond. 

CarUer was one of these hardy sailors. His 
t&fh&a before him had been mariners, and he had 
himself learned the way of the great waters while 
yet a mere youth. Before his expedition of 1534 
Jacques Cartier had probably made a voyage 
to Brazil and had in all probability more than 
once visited the Newfoundland fishing-banks. 
Although, when he sailed from St. Malo to become 
the pathfinder of a new Bourbon imperialism, he 
was forty-three years of age and in the prime of 
his days, we know very little of his youth and 
early manhood. It is enough that he had attained 
the rank of a master-pilot and that, from his skill 
in seamanship, he was considered the most dq>end- 
able man in all the kingdom to serve his august 
sovereign in this important enterprise. 
Cartier shipped his crew at St. Malo, and on *he 

tOth of April, 1534, headed his two small ships 
Across the great Atlantic. His company numbered 
only threescore souls in all. Favored by steady 
winds his vessels made good progress, and within 
three weeks he sighted the shores of Newfound- 
land where he put into one of the many small 
harbors to rest and refit his ships. Then, turning 
northward, the expedition passed through the 
straits of Belle Isle and into the Gulf of St. Law- 
rence. Coasting along the northern shore of 
the Gulf for a short distance, Cartier headed his 
ships due southward, keeping close to the western 
shore of the great island almost its whole length; 
he then struck across the lower Gulf and, mov- 
ing northward once more, reached the Bale des 
Chaleurs on the 6th July. Here the boats were sent 
ashore and the French were able to do a little trad- 
ing with the Indians. About a week later, Cartier 
went northward once more and soon sought shdter 
from a violent gulf storm by anchoring in Ga^,^ 
Bay. On the headland there he planted a great 
wooden cross with the anns of France, the first 
symbol of Bourbon dominion in the New Land» 
and the same symbol that successive explorers, 
chanting the VexUla Regia, were in time to set aloft 
from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of 


Mexico. It was tlie augiuy of the white suui'i 


Crossing next to the loutherly ahore of Anti- 
costi the voyageura ahnort dided the idand until 
the constant and advene wmds which Cartier met 
in the gradually narrowing channel forced him to 
dder indefinitely his hope of finding a western 
passage, and he therefore headed his ships back 
to BeUe Isle. It was now mid-August, and the 
season of autumnal storms was drawing near. 
Cartier had come to explore, to search for a west- 
ward route to tae Indies, to look for precious 
metals, not to establish a colony. He accordingly 
decided to set safl for home and, with favoring 
winds, was able to reach St. Malo in the early days 
of Sq>tember. 

In one sense the voyage of 1534 had been a fail- 
ure. No stores of mineral wealth had been 
discovered and no short route to Cipango or Ca- 
thay. Yet the spirit of exploration had been 
awakened. Cartier's recital of his voyage had 
aroused the interest of both the King and his people, 
so that the navigator's request for better equip- 
ment to make another voyage was readily granted. 
On May 19, 1535, CarUer once more set forth from 
St. Malo, this time with three vesseb and with 


a royal patent empowering him to take possession 
cf new lancb in his sovmign's name. With Car- 
tkr on this voyage there were over one hundred 
men, of whom the maj<»ity were hardened Ma- 
louins, veterans of the sea. How he found ac- 
commodation for all of them, with fuppliet and 
provisions, in three small vessds wliote total 
burden was only two hundred and twenty tons, is 
not least among the mysteries of this remarkable 

The trip across the ocean was boisterous, and the 
clumsy caraveb had a hard time breasting the 
waves. The ships were soon separated by alter- 
nate storms and fog so that aQ three did not meet 
at their appointed rendesvous m the Straits of 
Belle Isle until the last week in July. Then 
moving westward along ^e north shore of the 
Gulf, they passed Anticosti, crossed to the Gasp4 
shore, circled back as far as the Mingan islands, 
and then resumed a westward course up the great 
river. As the vessels stemmed the current but 

< The shipbuiiden' old measure tor detennining tonnage waa to 
mul^ily the kagth ot a vessel miaas three-quarters of the beam 
by the beam, then to multiply the product by one-half the beam, then 
to divide this final product by 94. The resulting quotient was the 
tonnage. On tUs basis Caitier's three shqw were 97 feet length hj 
23 feet beam, 57 feet length by 17 tett batBtSod 48 hagth hy^ 
17 feet beam, respectively. 

dowly, H WM wen into September when they cast 
•achor beTote the Indum viUage of Stadacona 
which occupied the present ute of Lower Quebec. 

Since it wm now too Ute in the season to think 
ol letuniog at once to France. Cartier decided 
to spend the winter at this point. Two of the 
•hips wtn therefore drawn into the mouth of a 
brook which entered the river just below the vil- 
lage, while the Frenchmen established acquaintance 
with the savages and made preparations for a trip 
farther up the river in the smallest vessel. Using 
as interpreters two young Indians whom he had 
captured in the Gasp^ region during his fint 
voyage in the preceding year, Cartier was ahfe 
to learn from the Indians at Stadacona that there 
was another settlement of importance at Hoche- 
laga, now Montreal. The navigator decided to 
use the remaining days of autumn in a visit to 
this settlement, although the Stadacona Indians 
strenuously objected, declaring that there were aU 
manner of dangers and difficulties in the way. 
With his smaUest vessel and about half <rf his men. 
Cartier, however, made his way up the river during 
the last fortnight in September. 

Near the point where the hugest of the St 
Lawrence rapids bars the river gateway to the 


west the Frenchman found Hochelaga nestling 
between the mountain and the shore, in the midst 
of "goodly and large fields full of com such as the 
country yiddeth." The Indian village, which 
consisted of about fifty houses, was encircled by 
three courses of palisades, one within the other. 
The natives received their visitors with great 
cordiality, and after a liberal distribution of trink- 
ets the French learned from them some vague 
snatches of information about the rivers and great 
hikes which hy to the westward "where a man 
might travel on the face of the waters for many 
moons in the same direction. " But as winter was 
near Cartier found it necessary to hurry back to 
Stadacona, where the remaining members of his 
expedition had built a small fort or habitation 
during his absence. 

Everything was made ready for the long season 
of cold and snow, but the winter came on with 
unusual severity. The neighboring Indians grew 
so hostile that the French hardly dared to venture 
from their narrow quarters. Supplies ran low, 
and to make matters worse the pestilence of scurvy 
came upon the camp. In Februaiy ahnost tbe 
entire company was stricken down and nearly <nie 
quarter of them had died before the emaciated 

survivors learned from the Indians that the bark 
of a white sprue? tree boiled in water would afford 
a cure. Tha iVenciinii r dosed themselves with 
the Indian r- medy, using a whole tree in less than 
a week, but Aich revivifying results that 
Cartier hailed the discovery as a genuine miracle. 

When spring appeared, the remnant of the 
company, now restored to health and vigor, gladly 
began their preparations for a return to France. 
There was no ardor among them for a further 
exploration of this inhospitable land. As tJiere 
were not enough men to handle aU three of the 
ships, they abandoned one of them, whose timben 
were uncovered from the mudbank in 184S, man 
than three centuries later. Before leaving Stada- 
cona, however, Cartier ded<ted to takeDomiaocma, 
the head of the village, and several other Iirfian. 
as presents to the Frendi King. It was natural 
enough that the mastor^itet aboM wish to bring 
his 8overe«n some impressive souyenu- bom the 
new domains, yet this swt of treachery and 
ingratitude was unpardonable. Donnarona and 
all these captives but one Kttle Indian maiden 
died in PWj, and his people did not readily 
forget the lesson of European duplicity. By 
July the eipediticm was bade in the harbor of St. 


Malo, and Cartier was promptly at work preparing 
for the King a journal of his experiences. 

Cartier's account of his voyag* which has come 
down to us contains many interesting details 
concerning the topography and life of the new 
land. The Malouin captain was a good navigator 
as seafaring went in his day, a good judge of dis- 
tance at sea, and a keen observer of kndmarks. 
But he was not a discriminating chronicler of 
those things which we would now wish to under- 
stand — for example, the relationship and status of 
the various Indian tribes with which he came into 
contact All manner of Indian customs are 
superficially described, particularly those which 
presented to the French the aspect of novelty, but 
we are left altogether uncertain as to whether 
the Indians at Stadacona in Cartier's time were 
of Huron or Iroquois or Algonquin stock. The 
navigator did not describe with sufficient clearness, 
or with a due differentiation of the important from 
the trivial, those things which ethnologists would 
now like to know. 

It must have been a disappointment not to be 
able to lay before the King any promise <rf great 
mineral wealth to be found in the new territoiy. 
While at Hochehiga Cartier had gleaiMxi from the 

savages some va^e allusions to sources of silver 
and copper in the far northwest, but that was all. 
He had not '^und a northern Eldorado, nor had 
his quest of a new route to the Indies been a whit 
more fruitful. Cartier had set out with this as his 
main motive, but had succeeded only in finding 
that there was no such route by way of the St. 
Lawrence. Though the King was much interested 
in his recital of courage and hardships, he was not 
fired with zeal for spending good money in the 
immediate equipping of another expedition to 
these inhospitable shores. 

Not for five years after his return in 15S6, 
therefore, did Cartier again set out for the St 
Lawrence. This time his sponsor was the Sieur 
de Roberval, a nobleman of Fkaxdy, who had 
acquired an ambition to colonize a porfkm of the 
new territory and who had obtained the royal 
endorsement of his scheme. The royal patronage 
was not difficult to obtain when no funds woe 
sought. Accordingly in 1540 Bobenral, who was 
duly appointed viceroy of the country, enlisted 
the assistance <rf Carti» in carrying out his plans. 
It was arranged that Cartier with three ships 
should sail from St Malo in the spring of 1541, 
whfle Roberval's part of the expedition should set 

forth at the same time from Hoofleur. But when 
May arrived Roberval was not ready and Cartier's 
ships set sail alone, with the understanding that 
Roberval would follow. Cartier in due course 
reached Newfoundland, where for six weeks he 
awaited his viceroy. At length, his patience 
exhausted, he determmed to push on alone to 
Stadacona, where he arrived toward the end of 
August. The ships were unloaded and two of the 
vessds were sent back to France. The rest of 
the expedition prepared to winter at Cap Rouge, a 
ahoTi distance above the settlement. Once more 
Cartier made a short trip up the river to Hoche- 
laga, but with no important incidents, and here 
the voyageur's journal comes to an end. He may 
have written more, but if so the pages have never 
been found. Henceforth the evidence as to his 
doings is less extensive and less reliable. On 
his return he and his band seem to have passed 
the winter at Cap Rouge more comfortably than 
the first hibernation six years before, for the 
French had now learned the winter hygiene of the 
northern regions. The Indians, however, grew 
steadily more hostile as the months went by, and 
Cartier, fearing that his smaU fdbwing might 
not fare wdl in the event <rf a general assault. 


deemed it wise to start for France when the river 
opened in the spring of 1542. 

Cartier set saU from Quebec in May. Taking 
the southern route through the Gulf he entered, 
early in June, the harbor of what is now St. John's! 
Newfoundland. There, according to Hakluyt. 
the Breton navigator and his belated viceroy, 
Roberval. anchored their ships side by side! 
Roberval, who had been delayed nearly a year! 
was now on his way to jom Cartier at Quebe^ 
and had put into the Newfoundland harbor to 
refit his ships after a stormy voyage. What passed 
betweer the two on the occasion of this meeting 
will never be known with catainty. We have 
only the brief stotement that after a spirited inter- 
view Cartier was ordered by his chief to turn his 
ships about and accompany the <»pedition bad^ 
toQuebec. Instead of doing so, he q>iead his sails 
durmg the n|gfat and s^ped homeward to St 
mio, leaving the viceroy to his own resources. 
There are dfficulties in the way of accepting 
this stoiy. however, although it is not absolutely 
iiWHisistent with the official records, as some hiter 
historians seem to have assumed. ' 

«^tiii WiiMor. Naruaim and CriliMl Hiitorg if Ammim, vd. 



At any rate it was in no pleasant humor that 
Roberval now proceeded to the St. Lawrence and 
up to Cap Bouge, where he took possession of 
Cartier's post, sowed some grain and vegetables, 
and endeavored to prepare for the winter. His 
company of followers, having been recruited from 
the jails of France, proved as unruly as might 
have been expected. Discipline and order could 
only be maintained by the exercise of great sever- 
ity. One ci the malefactors was executed; others 
were given the lash in generous measure. The 
winter, moreover, proved to be terribly cold; sup- 
plies ran low, and the scurvy once again got 
beyond control. If anything, the conditions were 
even worse than those which Cartier had to endure 
seven years before. When spring arrived the 
survivors had no thought of anything but a prompt 
return to France. But Roberval bade most of 
them wait until with a small party he ventured 
a trip to the territory near what is now Three 
Rivers and the mouth of the St. Maurice. Appar- 
ently the whole party made its way safely back to 
France before the autumn, but as to how or when 
we have no record. There is some evidence that 
Cartier was sent out with a relief expedition in 
1543, but lu any case, both he and Roberval were 


in France during the spring of the next year, for 
they then appeared there in court to settle respec- 
tive accounts of expenses incurred in the bwUy 
managed enterprise. 

Of Cartier's later life little is known save that he 
lived at St. Malo until he died in 1557. With 
the exception of his journals, which cover only a 
part of his explorations, none of his writings or 
maps has come down to us. That he prepared 
maps is highly probable, for he was an explons' 
in the royal service. But diligent search on the 
part of antiquarians has not brought them to 
light. His portrait in the town hall at St. Malo 
shows us a man of firm and strong features with 
jaws tight-set, a high forehead, and penetrating 
eyes. Unhappily it is of relatively recent w«k- 
manship and as a likeness of the great Maloutn 
its trustworthiness is at least questionable. Fear- 
less and untiring, however, his own indisputable 
achievemaits amply prove him to have been. 
The tasks set hdote him were difficult to perform ; 
he was often in tight places and he came through 
unscathed. As a navigator he possessed a skill 
that ranked with the best of his time. Hiswasan 
iiitrq)id saiter-soul. If his voyages resulted in no 
permanent establishment, that was not altogether 

Cartier's fault. He was aent out on his first two 
voyages as an expUaet, to find new trade route , 
or stores of gold and silver or a rich land to exploit. 
On his third voyage, when a scheme of coIonizati(m 
was in hand, the failure of Roberval to do his part 
proved the undoing of the entire plan. There is 
no reason to believe that f aint-heartedness or lack 
of courage had any place in Cartier's sturdy 

For sixty years following the ill-starred ventures 
of 1541-1542 no serious attempts were made to 
gain for France any real footing in the regions of 
the St. Lawrence. This is not altogether sur- 
prising, for there were troubles in plenty at home. 
Huguenots and Catholics had ranged themselves 
in civil strife; the wars of the Fronde were convuls- 
ing the land, and it was not until the very end of 
the sixteenth century that France settled down 
to peace within her own borders. Norman and 
Breton fishermen continued their yearly trips to 
the fishing-banks, but during the whole hitter half 
of the sixteenth century no vessel, so far as we 
know, ever made its way beyo id the Sagnea^. 
Some schemes of colonization, without oSdtl ms^ 
port, were Uunched during this interval; but in all 
•iich cases the expeditions set ^irth to wanner. 

lands, to Brazn and to Florida. In neither direc- 
tion, however, did any marked success attend these 
praiseworthy examples of private initiative. 

The great valley of the St. Lawrence during 
these six decades remained a land of mystery. 
The navigators of Europe still clung to the vision 
of a westward passage whose eastern portal must 
be hidden among the bays or estuaries of this 
silent land, but none was bold or persevering 
enough to seek it to the end. As for the great 
continent itself, Europe had not the sUgJitest 
inkling of what it held in stoie for future gcnon. 
tions of mankind. 



In the closing years of the sixteenth century the 
spirit of French expansion* which had remained so 
strangely inactive for nearly three generations, 
once again began to manifest itself. The Sieup de 
La ^ ^che, another Breton nobleman, the merchant 
trau^.s, Pontgrav^ of St. Malo and Chauvin of 
Honfleur, came forward one after the other with 
plans for colonizing the unknown land. Unhappily 
these plans were not easily matured into stem 
realitii^d. The ambitious project of La Roche 
came to grief on the barren sands of Sable Island. 
The adventurous merchants, for their part, 
obtained a monopoly of the trade and for a few 
years exploited the rich peltry regions of the St. 
Lawrence, but they made no serious attempts at 
actual settlemoit. Finally they lost the monop- 
oly, which passed in 1603 to the Sieur de Chastes. 
a royal favorite and commandant at Dieppe. 


It is at this point that Samuel Champlain first 
becomes associate-^ with the pioneer history of 
New Prance. Given the opportunity to sail with 
an expedition which De Chastes sent out in 1603. 
Champlain gladly accepted and from this time to' 
the end of his days he never relaxed his whole- 
souled interest in the design to establish a French 
dommion in these western knds. With bli 
accession to the ranks of the voyageuM p^- 
gress in the field of colonization was f or the fint 
time assured. Champlain encountered many set- 
backs during his initial years as a coloniier, but lie 
persevered to the end. When he had finished \m 
work. France had obtained a footu« in the St 
Lawrence valley which was not shaken for nearly a 
hundred and fifty years. 

Champlain was bom in im at the seaport of 
Brouage, on the Bay of Biscay, so that he was 
only thirty-six years of age wh«i he set out on his 
first voyage to America. His forbears belonged 
to the lesser gentry of Samtonge. and from them 
hemhentedarovingstrain. Long before reaching 
middle manhood he had learned to face dang^^ 
both as a soldier in the wars of the league and as 
a sailor to the Spanish Main. With a love of 
adventure he combined rare powers of descripUon. 


so much so that the narrative of his early voyages 
to this region had attracted the King's attentioo 
and had won for him the title of royal geographer. 
His ideas were bold and clear; he had an inflexible 
will and great patience in battling with discourage- 
ments. Possessing these qualities, Champlain was 
in every way fitted to become the founder ci New 

The expedition of IdOS proceeded to the St. 
Lawrence, where some oi the party landed at the 
mouth of the Saguenay to trade with the Indians. 
The remainder, including Champlain, made their 
way up the river to the Indian village at Hoche- 
laga, which they now found in ruins, savage war- 
fare having turned the place into a solitude. 
Champlain busied himsdf with some study of the 
country's resources and the customs of the abo- 
rigmes; but on the whole the prospects of the St. 
Lawrence valley did not move the explorers to 
enthusiasm. Descending the great hver again, 
they rejoined their comrades at the Saguenay, and, 
taking their cargoes of furs aboard, the whole 
party sailed back to France in the autumn. There 
they fo. ' d that De Chastes, the sponsor for their 
enterprise, had died during their absence. 

The death of De Chastes upset matters badiiy* 

for with it the trade mooopofy had hpted. But 
things were promptly tet i%ht again by a royal 
act which granted the aoBopdy anew. This 

time ft went to the W de Mairts, a prominent 
Huguenot nobleman, then gmmmor of Pons, with 
wlwm ChampUun was «b friendly terms. To 
quiet the cUunors <tf rivri traders, however, it was 
stipulated that MoBts should organize^ a com[)any 
and should be bound to take into his enterprise' 
any who might wish to associate themselves with 
him. The company, in re; for its trading 
monopoly, was to transport to the new domam 
at least one hundred settlers each year. 

Little difficulty was encountered in organizing 
the company, since various merchants of St. Malo, 
Honfleur, Rouen, and Rochelle were eager to take 
shares. Preparations for sending out an expedi- 
tion on a much larger scale than <m any premis 
occasion were soon under way, and in 1604 two 
well-equipped vessels set forth. One oi them went 
to the old trading-post at the Saguenay; the other 
went southward to the regions of Acadia. On 
board the Iatt» w&e De Monts h^sdf, Cham- 
plain as chief geograi^ier. and a young adventurer 
from Uie ranks of the nobUMe, Bimcourt dePdu- 
tnncourt The perscmnd of this e]q>edftacin was 


excellent: it contained no convicts; most of ita 
members were artisans and sturdy yeomen. 
Rounding the tip of the Nova Scotian peninsula, 
these vessels came to anchor in the haven of Port 
Royal, now Annapolis. Not satisfied with the 
prospects there, however, they coasted around the 
Bay of Fundy, and finally reached the island in 
Passamaquoddy Bay which they named St. Croix. 
Here on June 25, 1604, the party decided to found 
their settlement. Work on the buildings was at 
once commenced, and soon the little colony was 
safely housed. In the autumn Poutrincourt was 
dispatched with one vessd and a orew back to 
France, while ChampUun and the rest pr^tared 
to spmd ib^ winter In their new ishnd home. 

The choice of St. Crdx as a location proved 
singularly unfortunate; the winter was long and 
severe, and the pr^arations that had been made 
were soon found to be inadequate. Once more 
there w^ sufferings such as Cartier and his men 
had undergone during the terrible winter of 1534- 
15S5 at Quebec. There were no brooks or springs 
close at hand, and no fresh water except such as 
could be had by melting snow. The storehouse 
had no cellar, and in consequence the vegetables 
f A'oze, so that the company was reduced to salted 


meat as the chief gta{4e of diet Scurvy ravaged 
the camp, and befcwe the mows melted nearly 
two-fifths of the party had died. Not untilJune, 
moreover, did a vessd arrive from France with 
fresh stores and more colonists. 

The experience of this first winter must have 
indeed "produced discontent." as Champlain 
rather mildly expressed it, but it did not impel De 
Monts to abandon his plans. St. Croix, however, 
was given up and, after a futile search for a better 
location on the New England coast, the colony 
moved across the bay to Port Royal, where the 
buildings were reconstructed. In the autumn 
De Monts went back to France, leaving ChampUwi, 
Pontgrave, and forty-three others to sp^d the 
winter of 1605-1606 in Acadia. During this 
hibernation the fates were far more kind. The 
season proved milder, the bitter kssons of the 
previous season had not gone unlearned, and 
scurvy did not make serious headway. But when 
June came and De Monts had not returned from 
France with fresh su^ilies, there was genenl 
discouragement; so mudi so that plans for the 
entire abandomnait of the phct were on the eve 
of being earned out when a huge vessel rounded 
the point on its way into the Basm. Aboardwere 


Poutrincourt and Marc Lescarbot, togetlier with 
more settlei^ and supplies. Lescarbot was a 
Parisian lawyer in search of adyentare, a man 
who combined wit with wisdom, oneolthepieasant- 
est figures in the amials of American ookmization. 
He was destined to gain & pkuse in literary history 
as the interesting chronicler of this little colony's 
all-too-bri^ existence. These arrivals put new 
heart mto the m&i, and they set to work sowing 
grain and ve^tables, which grew m such abund- 
ance that the storehouses wete filled to their 
capacity. Hie ensuing wmter found the com- 
papy with an ample state of everything. The 
season of ice and snow passed quickly, thanks 
largely to Champlain's successful endeavor to 
keq) the colonists in good health and spirits by 
exercise, by variety in diet, and by divers gaieties 
under the auspices of his Ordre de Ban Temps, a 
spontaneous social organization created for the 
purpose of banishing cares and worries from the 
little settlement. It seemed as though the colony 
had been established to stay. 

But with the spring of 1607 came news which 
quickly put an end to all this optimism. Rival 
merchants had been clam(mi^ against the monop- 
oly of the De Monts company. Despite the fact 

that De Mbnts waa a Huguenot and thus a shining 
target for the ahafU <rf bigotry, these protests had 
for three years faOed to move the King; but now 
they had gained their point, and the monopoly 
had come to an end. This meant that there would 
be no more ships with settlers or supplies. As the 
colony could not yet hope to exist on its own 
resources, there was no alternative but to abandon 
the site and return to France, and this the whole 
party reluctantly proceeded to do. 

On arrival in France the affairs of the company 
were wound up, and De Monts found himseK a 
heavy loser. He was not yet ready to quit the 
game, however, and Champhiin with the aid of 
Pontgrav6 was able to conviiioe him that a new 
venture in the St. Lawrence region na^t yield 
profits even without the protection of a monopo^. 
Thus out of misfortune and ttalm anm the piaaa 
which led to the founding ot a pennaaent onlpofl 
of empire at Quebec. 

In the spring of 1608 Chanqdain and Ponlgnw* 
onceagainsetsaafortheSLLawiaioe. Thelattor 
delayed at the Sagnenay to trade, while Champlain 

pushed on to the aite <rf the oM Stadacona, where 
atthefootofthecMTheUidthe foundaticBia of 

tbe new Qnebec the firat pomanent aettlement of 


Europeans in the territoiy of New France. On the 
shore bdow the rocky steep several houses were 
built, and measures were taken to defend them 
in case of an Indian attack. Here Champhun's 
party spent the winter of 1608-1609. 

With the experience gained at St. Croix and 
Port Royal it should have been possible to provide 
for all eventualities, yet difficulties in profusion 
were encountered during these winter months. 
First there was the unearthing of a conspiracy 
against Champlain. Those concerned in it were 
speedily punished, but the execution of the chief 
culprit gave to the new settlement a rather omin- 
ous beginning. Then came a season of zero 
weather, and the scurvy came with it. Champ- 
Iain had heard of the remedy used by Cartier, but 
the tribes which had been at Stadacona in Cartier's 
time had now disappeared, and there was no one 
to point out the old-time remedy to the suffering 
garrison. So the scourge went on unchecked. 
The ravages of disease were so severe that, whoi a 
relief ship arrived in the early siunmer of 1609, all 
but eight of Champhun's party had succumbed. 

Yet there was no thought of abandcming the 
settlement. Hie beginnings ol Ca::ada made 
^BMSUBding donacds upon the fortitude and 

stamina of these dauntless voyageurs, but their 
store of courage was far from the point of ezhaus* 
tion. They were ready not only to stoy but to 
explore the territory inland, to traverse its rivos 
and lakes, to trudge through its forests afoot 
that they might find out for the King's information 
what resources the vast land held in its sil«it 
expanses. After due deh*bwition, therefore, it 
was decided that ChampUun and four others 
should accompany a party of Huron and Algon- 
quin Indians uptm «ic of their forays into the 

country of the Iroquott. this being the «ily way in 
which the Renchmen could be sure of then- red- 
akin guides. So the new allies set forth to the 
southeastward, passing up the Richelieu River 
and, traversmg the lake which now bears his 
name, ChampUiin and his Indian friends came 
upon a war party of Iroquois near Ticonderoga 
and a forest fight ensued. The muskets of the 
French terrified the enemy tribesmen and they 
fled in disorder. In itself the incident was not of 
much account nor were its consequences so far- 
reaching as some historians would have us believe. 
It is true that Champlain's action put the French 
for the moment in the bad graces of the Iroquois; 
but the conclusion that this foray was chie^ 

re^nsible for the hostility of the great tribes 
\j during the whole ensuing century is altogether 
without inroper historical foundation. 

Revenge has always been a prominent trait of 
redskin character, but it could never of itself have 
determined the alignment of the Five Nations 
against the French during a period of nearly 
eight generations. From the situation of their 
territories, the Iroquois were the natural allies 
of the English and Dutch on the one hand, and 
the natural foes of the French on the other. 
Trade soon became the Alpha and the Omega of all 
tribal diplomacy, and the Iroquois were discerning 
enough to realize that their natural r61e was to 
serve as middlemen between the western Indians 
and the English. Their very livelihood, indeed, 
depended on their success in diverting the flow of 
the fur trade through the Iroquois territories, for 
I by the middle of the seventeenth century there 
j were no beav^ left in their own ommtry. Such 
a situation meant that they must promote trade 
between the western Indians and the F^n g lta b 
Albany; but to promote trade with the Engl^ 
meant f riendsUp with the English, and frlendsh^ 
with the English meant enmity with the Fr&idk, 
Heie is the true to the Umg series of quandf 

in whidi the Five Nations and New Prance engaged. 
Champlain's KtUe escapade at Ticonderoga was 
a mere incident and the Iroquois would have 
won forgotten it if their economic interests had 
required them to do so. "Trade and peace." 
said an Iroquois chief to the French on one occa- 
sion, "we take to be one thing." He was right; 
they have been one thing in all ages. As compan' 
ions, trade and the flag have been inseparaUe 
in all lands. The expedition of 1609 had, however, 
some results besides the discomfiture of an Iroquoi^ 
raiding party. It disclosed to the French a water- 
route which led almost to the upper reaches of 
the Hudson. The spot where ChampUun put 
the Iroquois to flight is within thirty leagues 
or Albany. It was by this route that the Reach 
and English came so often into waning contact 
during the next one hundred and fifty yean. 

Explorations, the care of his little settlement 
at Quebec trading operations, and two visits to 
France occupied Champlain's attrition during 
the next few years. Down to this time no white 
man's foot had ever trodden the vast wilderness 
bey wid the r^ids above Hochdaga. Stori« had 
filtered through concerning great waters far to the 
West and North, of hiddten mmerals there, and 


of fertile lands. Champlain was detcnnmed to fee 
these thiiigs for himself and it was to that end 
that he made his two great trips to the interior, in 
ioiS and 1616, respectively. 

The expedition of 1613 was not a journey of 
indefinite ^loration; it had a very definite end 
in view. A few years previously Champlain had 
sent into the villages of the Algonquins on the 
upper Ottawa River a young Frenchman named 
Vignau, in order that by living for a time among 
these people he might learn their language and 
become useful as an interpreter. In 1612 Vignau 
came back with a marvelous story concerning a 
trip which he had made with his Algonquin friends 
to the Great North Sea where he had seen the 
wreck of an English vessel. This striking news 
inflamed Champlain's desire to find out whether 
this was not the route for which both Cartier 
and be himself had so eagerly searched — the 
western passage to Cathay and the Indies. There 
is evidence that the explorer from the first doubted 
the truth of Vignau's story, but in 1613 he decided 
to make sure and started up the Ottawa River, 
taking the young man with him to point the way. 

After a fatiguing journey the party at length 
reached the Algonquin encampment on Allumette 

Wand in the upper Ottawa, where hia doubts were 
f uUy oonfiimed. Vignau, the Algonquins assured 
Champhun, was an impostor; he had never been 
out of their «ght, had never seen a Great North 
Sea; the English shipwreck was a figment of his 
imagination. "Overcome with wrath," writes 
Champlain, "I had him removed from my pres- 
once, being unable to bear the sight of him." 
The party went no further, but returned to Que- 
bec. As for the impostor, the generosity of his 
leader in the end allowed him to go unpunidied. 
Though the expedition had been in one sense a 
fool's errand and Champlain felt himself badl^ 
duped, yet it was not without its usefdness, for it 
gave him an opportunity to leam much ooncOTiing 
the methods of wilderness travel, the customs of 
the Indians and the extent to which th^ m^t 
be relied upon. The Algonquins and the Hurons 
had proved their friendship, but what thqr most 
desired, it now appeared, was that the Prwich 
should give them substantial aid in another 
expedition against the Iroquds. 

This was the basis upon which arrangements 
were made for Onunphiin's next journey to the 
mtenor, the longest and most daring enterprise 
m his whole career oi exploration. In 1615 the 


BioiMge navigator with a small party onoe again 
aioaided the Ottawa, crotied to Li^Ee Nipiadng 
and thenoe made his way down the French River 
to the Geoigian Bay, or Lake at the Hurons as it 
was then called. Near the Aare§ ol the bay 
he found the villages of the Hurons with the 
Ballet Father Le Caron already at work among 
the tribesmen. Adding a large band of Indians 
to his party, the explorer now struck southeast 
and, by following the chain of small lakes and 
rivers which lie between Matchedash Bay and the 
Bay of Quinte, he eventually reached Lake On- 
tario. The territory pleased Champlain greatly, 
and he recorded his enthusiastic opinion of its 
fertility. Crossing the head of Lake Ontario in 
their canoes the party then headed for the country 
of the Iroquois south of Oneida Lake, where lay a 
palisaded village of the Onondagas. This they 
attacked, but after three hours' fighting were 
repulsed, Champlain being wounded in the knee 
by an Iroquois arrow. 

The eleven Frenchmen with their horde of 
Indians th&i retreated cautiously; but the Onon- 
dagas made no serious attonpt at fmrsoit, and 
in due course Champlain with his party rpproMfd 
Lake Ontario safely. The Fr^idmien were now 

f to get back to Quebec by descending the St. 
Lawrence, but their Indian alhes would not hear 
<rf Uiis deserUon. The whole expedition liierefow 
plodded on to the shores of the Georgian Bay, 
following a route somewhat north of the one by 
which it had come. There the Frenchmen qwit 
a tedious winter. Champlain was anxious to 
make use of the time by exploring the upper lakea, 
but the task of settling some wretched feuds 
among his Huron and Algonquin friends took 
most of his time and energy. The wmter gmye 
hun opportunity, however, to leam a gmH ded 
more about the daily life of the savages, their 
abodes, their customs, their igriculture, their 
amusements, and their folklofe. AD this inlonn. 
ation went into his journals and would ha^ been 
of priceless value had not the Jesuits who came 
later proved tobesudiuiitfriiigchionidei. erf e^^ 

When apring came, Ounqdafa fcft the Huron 
country and by -v^ of Lake N,»«ng and 'he 
Ottowa «ce nH« reached hi. own people -t 
Queb«. It toA hhn forty days to make the 
}»^J»m the Georgian Bay to the pre«.t 
Site of Montreal 

Arriving at Quebec, where he was hailed as 


OM riMB from tbe deed, Champhiiii fomid that 
tbin^i m Fnnoe had taken a new turn. They 
had, in fact, taken many twkts and turai during 
the nine yean aince De Monts had financed the 
first vt)y.4gf to the St. Lawrence. In tli« tlrst 
place, De Monts had lost the last \ estige o iiw 
influence at court; as a Huguenot jo could not 
expert to iiave retained it under th« stem "egency 
which followed the assassination of Henry IV 
in 1610. Then a half-dozen makeshift arrange- 
ments came in thf^ ensuing years. It was always 
the same story faithfully r«'peat*»d in its broad 
outlines. Some friendly nobleman would obtain 
from the King appointment viceroy 
France and at the same time a trading nioiK)pc^ 
for a term of years, always pfemising to smd ^t 
some settlers in return. The nKH^peiy woaU 
then be sublet, and Champlain would rec 
nized as a sort of viceroy's deputy. And S 
colony in which the white pc^uk^kn Sl 
number fifty souls! 

Despite the small popetatioB, howerer, Cham 
plain's task at Qnebec wai <iffie^ aad exacting. 
Wa wpomoa m Fraaee hmi no int^est m the 
pernunent upboikiis^ of the colooy; thrf a^t out 
very few Mttfers, and ipive Mm iktk m the wiQr 

TBI vommtfe or new france «• 

of foacb. Hie Mm wlio came o the St. 
lAwrenoe etdi mwamer were an unruly . nd boister- 
oas enm whc quarreled with the Indians and 
among Uieiiiielves. At Umes. indeed. Champlain 
was 8or^ tempted o thro^v up the un* rtaking 
in disguit But ,,ati held out until 1627. 
whe/ fhei ofKi. . u i France put the af^airif/ 
of thr colon; upo ne .nd more active .is. 
For a quart. ^ ^. y. -ance had been 
letting old 3 sL by while the 

coi )Tue« ind t her rivals wer« foiging ahewL 

^pair d T iugai were secure in the beiith. 
x.ngl id a. led firm footholds both in Virg^ 
an. on Mas ichusetts Bty. Even Holland «rf « 
ng on ercial company in the fidd. Im 
a it n «^hich no far^ighted Freofe ^ 
could e Hence Cardinal Richdieu. wlien 

arr ^ Eiinister of Louis Xm, undertook to 
s« ha. Vance should have her shan of New 
^ 'd .. oils. "No realm is io weQ aituiited m 
Pra^. , " he declared, "to be ndOt^as of the seM 
r so ^t- i« nu thingi nee^.- The cardmal. 
aums combined fertihty in i^ with such a 
genius lor oiganizatioii that hui plans ^ quickly 
under way. Unhap|»Iy his talent for details, 
for the effid^t handling of Httle things, was not 


nearly so great, and some of his anangememts 
went sadly awry in consequence. 

At any rate Richelieu in 1627 prevailed upon 
the King to abolish the office of viceroy, to cancel 
all trading privil^es, and to permit the dgani- 
cation of a great colonizing company, <me that 
might hope to rival the English and Dutch com- 
mercial organizations. This was formed under 
the name of the Company of New Franee, or the 
Company of One Hundred Associates, as it waa 
more commonly called from the fact that its 
mnnb«riiq> was restricted to <me hundred dbaie- 
holders, eadi of whom ccmtributed three thCTitand 
Umt, The cardinal himsdf, the nunuteiB ol 
state, noblemoi, and courtesans <^ Paris, as wd! 
as merchants of the port towns, all figured in the 
list kA stockholdm. The subscription lists con- 
tained an imposing array of names. 

The powers of the new Company, moreover, 
were as imposing as its personnel. To it was 
granted a perpetual monopoly of the fur trade and 
of all other commerce with rights of suzerainty 
over all the territories of New France and Acadia. 
It was to govern these lands, levy taxes, establish 
courts, appoint officials, and even bestow titles 
of nobility. In return the Company undertook 

to convey to the colony not fc» thm two bimdrad 
settlers per year, and to provide tlwm wHh anb- 
sistence until they cooM bec««ie .«df-«ipportn?g. 
It was stipulated, however, that TOHuguenots or 
other heretics .4»iiI(Lbeu^ogthe in^gmntn, 

The Hundred Assodatea ottered upon this 
portentous task with promptness and enthusiasm 
Early in 1«28 a fleet e^ghtem vessek freighted 
with equipm^t, settlers, and supplies set sail from 
Dieppe for the St. Uwience to begin operations. 
But the time of its arrival was highly inopportune, 
for Snaoe was now at war with England, and it 
happened that a fleet of English privateers was 
already seeldng prey in the Lower St. Lawrence. 
These privateers, commanded by Kirke, inter- 
cq>ted the Company's heavily-laden caravels, 
overpowered them, and carried their prizes off to 
England. Thus the Company of the One Hundred 
Associates lost a large part of its capital, and its 
shareholders received a generous dividend of dis. 
appointment in the very first year of its operationa. 

A more serious blow, however, was yet to ootne. 
Flushed with his success in 1628, Kirke came bade 
to the St. Lawrence during the Dert auniiiier and 
proceeded to Quebec, where he summoBed Cktm- 
phun and his little settlme&t to smadv. Aa 



the place was on the verge of famine owing to the 
capture of the supply ships in the previous year, 
there was no alternative but to comply, and the 
colony passed for the first time into English 
hands. Champlain was allowed to sail for Eng- 
land, where he sought the services of the French 
ambassador and eamtstly advised that the ITii^g 
be urged to insist oa the lestoratkHi at Canada 
whenever the time for peace should come. Negoti- 
ations for peace aoon began, but th^ dialed 
on tediously until im, when the Trea^ of St 
Germain-en-Laye gave bai^ New Iraace to its 

With this turn in affabs the Con^Muiy was able 
to resume its opotitiotis. Champlain, as its n^ae- 
aentattve, once more reached Quebec, where he 
received a gendne wekxmie bom the lew French- 
mea who had remained thnmi^ the years of 
Babylonian captivity, and from the bands of 
ne|ghbc»ing Indians. With his hands again set 
to the arduous tasks, Champlain was able to make 
substantial progress during the next two years. 
For a time the Company gave him funds and 
equipment besides sending him some excellent 
colonists. Lands were cleared in the neighbor- 
hood of the settlement; buildings were improved 

and enlaiged; trade with the Indians was put upon 
* better basis. A post was established at Three 
Riv^ and plans were made for a further extension 
of Frendi influence to the westward. It was in the 
midst of these achievements and hopes that 
Champlain was stricken by paralysis and died 
on Christmas Day, 1635. 

Champlain's portrait, attributed to Moncomet, 
shows us a sturdy, broad-shouldered frame, with 
features in keeping. Unhappily we have no 
assurance that it is a faithful likeness. No one, 
however, can deny that the manner of Brouage^ 
with his extraordinary perseverance and caogy, 
was adnurably fitted to be the pathfinder to a new 
realm. Not often does one encounter In tke 
annals of any nation a man of greater tcoac^ 
and patience. Chagrin and df^ ppomtmcnt hb 
had to meet on many occasions, but he was new 
baffled nor moved to concede defeat Bis per. 
severance, however, was not greater than his 
modesty, for never in his writings did he magnify 
his difficulties nor «9adt his own powers of over- 
CfiXAui^ them, as was too mueh the fiuhion of his 
dj.,. As a writ», his styfc was plain and direct, 
with no attempt at embeffishment and no indica- 
tioii thut strong emotioBs ever had much mfluenoe 


i^KHi his pen. He was essentiaUy a man of action, 
and his narrative is in the main a ample record 
of such a man's achievements. His character 
was above reproach; no one ever impugned his 
honesty or his sincere devotion to the best interests 
of his superiors. To his Church he was loyal in the 
hist degree; and it was under his auspices that 
the first of the Jesuit missionaries came to begin 
the enduring work which the Order was destined 
to accomplish in New France. 

On the death of Champlain the Company 
appointed the Sieur de Montmagny to be governor 
of the colony. He was an ardent sympathizer 
with the aims of the Jesuits, and life at Quebec 
soon became almost monastic in its austerity. 
The Jesuits sent home each year their BSloHorUt 
and, as these were widely read, they created great 
interest in the spiritual affairs of the oobny. The 
call for zealots to cany the cross westward mto 
the wilderness met ready response, and it was **nH 
a glow of religious fervor that the settlement at 
Montreal was brought into being. A company 
was formed in France, funds were obtained, and a 
band oi forty-four colonists was recnuted for 
the crusade into the wildemeas. The ^eur de 
Maisonneuve, a gaUant soldier and a loyal devotee 

of the Chuich, was the actiye kader of the enter- 
prise, with Jeanne Mance, an ardent young reli- 
gionist of high motiyes and fine character, as his 
principal coa4jutor. Fortune dealt kindly with the 
project, and Montreal began its history in 1642. 

A few years kter Montmagny gave up his post 
and returned to 1 ranee. With the limited re- 
sources at his disposal, he had served the colony 
weU, and had left it stronger and more prosperous 
than when he came. His successor was M. 
D'Ailleboust. who had been for some time in the 
country, and who was consequently no stranger 
to its needs. On his appointment a councfl was 
created, to consist of the governor of the colony, 
the bishop or the superior of the Jesuits, and tlie 
governor of Montreal. Henceforth this bo^y waa 
to be responsible for the making of all general 
regulations. It is commonly caUed the CMd Couii- 
cil to distinguish it from the Soyera«B Council 
by which it was siqjiaanted in IMS. 

The opening yean <rf the new Kdmmistnitioii 
were marked by one ol the greatest ol Imt 
tragedies, the destructtCHi of the Huzodb. ht 
im a party (A IroquoiB wairion made thev 
way acKMs Lake Ontario and oyeriand to the 
Himai ooontiy, where th^ ffastroyed one laige 


▼Olage. Emboldened by this snoeen, a ranch 
brger body of the tribeHnen retmned in the year 
feftyin« Md Mmplrt t i thdr bloody woik. A 

Jesoit piierti, Trf iiii n iit aai Afifibeii, n^o wwc 
bboring mom% & IteoBs, were taken and 
horaed at the rtafe i^er offering atrocious 
tortures. The i want s of the tribe were scat- 
teed: a few found shdter on the islands of the 
Georgian Bay, while others took refuge with 
the French and were given a tract of land at 
Sillery, near Quebec. To the French colony the 
extirpation of the Hurons came as a severe blow. 
It weakened their prestige in the west, it cut off 
a lucrative source of fur supply, and it involved 
I the loss of faithful allies. 

More ominous still, the Iroquois by the success 
of their forays into the Huron country endangered 
the French settlement at Montreal. Glorying 
in their prowess, these warriors now boasted 
that they would leave the Frenchmen no peace 
but in their graves. And they proceeded to make 
good their threatenings. Bands of confederates 
spread themselves about the region near Mimtieal, 
poottcuig lynx-Iike from the forest vepan any who 

daacn or 

and laid 

li were attadced 
Aniililer. Two 

ventured outade the immediate boundaries of the 
settlement. For a time the people were in despair, 
but the colony soon gained a breathing < 
not by its own efforts, but from a diveraii ^ J 
Iroquois enmity to other quarters. 

About 1652 the confederated tribes undertook 
their famous expedition against the Eries, whose 
country lay along the south shore of the lake 
which bears their name, and thij enterprise for the 
time absorbed the bulk of the Iroquois enefgy. 
The next governor of New France, De Ltamm, 
regarded the moment as opportune for peace 
negotiations, on the hypothesis that the idea of 
waging only one war at a time might sppeml to the 
Five Nations as sound policy. A mianon mm 
accordingly sent to the Iroqums, headed by the 
Jesuit missionary Le Mbyn^ and for a time ft 
seemed as if airangementf for a htfting peace 
might be made. But there waa no amcerity m 
the Iroquois profeaniMis. Their real mterest lay 
in peacrful rdatMHu wfth tiie Dutch and the 
English; the Freodi w«Ee th^ logical tauames; 
and when the Irequoit had finished with the 
Eries their msoknoe quickly dumed itself once 

The nert few yean therefore found the colooy 


again in deqierate straits. In its entire popiilatioii 
there were not motte than five hundied men capft- 
ble of taking the field, nor were there fireanns 
f or aU of these. The Iroquois oonf ederacy oould 
muster at least three times that number; th^ were 
now obtaining firearms in plmty from the Dutch 
at Albany; and they could concentrate their 
whole assault upcm the French settlement at 
Montreal. Had the Iroquois known the barest 
elements of siege <q)erations, the colony must 
have come to a speedy and disastrous end. As 
the outcome proved, however, they were unwise 
enough to divide their strength and to dissipate 
their energies in isolated raids, so that Montreal 
came safely through the gloomy years of 1658 
and 1659. 

In the latter of these years there arrived from 
France a man who was destined to play a large 
part in its afiFairs during the next few decades, 
Frangois-Xavier d^ Laval, who now came to take 
charge of ecclesiastical affairs in New France with 
the powers of a vicar apostolic. IkivaFs arrival 
did not mark the beginning of frictiou betwera 
the Church and the civil officials in the colony; 
there were such dissensions already. But the 
doughty churchman's claims and the governor's 


polioy of KMsting them soon brought things to an 
open breach, particularly upon the question of 
permitting the sale of liquor to the Indians. In 
1662 the quarrel became bitter. Laval hastened 
home to France where he placed before the authori- 
ties the list of ecclesiastical grievances. The 
governor, a bluff old soldier, was thereupon 
summoned to Paris to present his side of the whole 
aff'iir. In the end a decision was reached to 
reorganize the whole system of civH and com- 
mercial administration in the colony. Thus, as 
we shall soon see, the power passed away altogether 
from the Company of One Hundred Associates. 

ram age of louis quatobsb 

]x>i7i8 XIV, the gimtest of the B<mrbon monaicliSi 
had now taken into his own hands the leins ol 
power* N<»nina]|y he had been king d Fnaee 
since 1642, when he was only five yean dd, but it 
was not until 1656 that the control of affairs by 
the regency came to an end. Moreovw, Colbert 
was now chief minister of state, so that colonial 
matters were assured of a searching and enlightened 
inquiry. Richelieu's interest in the progress of 
New France had not endured for many years after 
the founding of his great Company. It is true 
that during the next fifteen years he remained 
chief minister, but the great eflfort to crush the 
remaining strongholds of feudalism and to central- 
ize all political power in the monarchy left him no 
time for the care of a distant colony. Colbert, on 
the other hand, had well-defined and far-reaching 
plans for the development of French industnal- 


interests at home and ol flench 
interests abroad. 

As for the colony, it made meager ,m.,gMvm 
under Company control: few settlers wen tent 
out; and they were not provided with pioper 
means of defense against Indian d^^jwdatioiii. 
Under the circumstances it did not take Colbert 
long to see how remiss the Comptay ci One Hon. 
dred Associates had been, nor to feach a dednon 
that the colony should be at oaoe withdrawn from 
lis control. He accow&M^ penuaded the mon- 
arch to demand the nurender ol the Company's 
charter and to Kfrnmand the Aaweiates for the 
shameleM w«y in which they h»d neglected the 
trust committed to thdr ewe. "Inatead of 
finding," dedtted theKing in the edict of revoca- 
tion, "that this ccnmtry i. p<^ulated as it ought 
to be aft« ao hing an occuprtion thereof by our 
subjects, we have ieamed with regret not only 
that the number of its inhabitants is very limited, 
but that emi these are daily exposed to the danger 
of being wiped out by the Iroquois." 

In truth, the company had little to show for its 
thirty yean ol exploitation. The entire popu- 
lation of New France in 1663 numbered less than 
twenty-five hundred people, a considefahle pf». 


portkMi of whom were tnden, «iii«»tfl | f^ 
priests. Tbe area of cleared land was astonuii. 
ingiy small, and agiieiiltuie had made no progress 
worthy ol the name. There weie no industries 
of any kind, and almost nothing but furs went 
home in the shqM to France. The colony de- 
pended upon its mother country even for its annual 
food supply, and when the ships from France failed 
to come the cobnists were reduced to severe 
privations. A dispirited and nearly defenseless 
land, without solid foundations of agriculture 
wr industry, with an accumulation of Indian 
enmit- and an empty treasury— this was the 
legacy which the Company now turned over to 
the Crown in return for the viceroyal privileges 
given to it in good faith more than three decades 

When the King revoked the Company's charter, 
he decided upon Colbert's advice to make New 
France a royal domain and to provide it with a 
scheme of administration modeled broadly npoa 
that of a province at home. To this end a royal 
edict, perhaps the most important of all the many 
decrees affecting French colonial iitecats in the 
seventeenth century, was issued in April, l«e8. 
While the provisions of this edict bear the stamp 


of Colbert's handiwork, it ia not unlikely that 
the suggestions of Bishop Uval. as given to the 
minister during his visit of the preceding yen, 
were accorded some recognition. At any rate.' 
after reciting he circumstances under which Uw 
King had been prompted to take New France into 
his own hands, the edict of 1663 proceeded to 
authorize thv creation of a Sovereign Coaaefl at 
thr chief governing body of the oobny. This, 
with a larger mendbenhip and with gmtl^ 
mcreased powen. was to leplaee tlie old eottncQ 
which the Company had estabUM to admmifter 
aflFairs some yean prwiou^. 

During the next liun<?^ed yean thia B9^w^ 
Council became and v<: . aiaed the paramount 
civil authority in R«ich .kiaerica. At tlie outset 
it consisted of seven mmAm, the govern^ it i 
the bUiop ex ^Uno, with five leadenta of the 
ootony selected jfimOy 1^ two. Beginning 
with the anival of talon as Sn* intendant of the 
colony in im, the oecopant of this post was also 
giveaaseatmtheCoandl. Befor - long, however. 
It became ai^Mirait that the provi^ o- relating to 
the app^tooit oi non-ofEcial members was 
uawmioblc. The governor and the bishop could 
not agree ia their seiecUons; each wanted his own 

1^. o 

pwtisaiis appamted. The remit was • deacDo^ 
in which aeats at the ooondMMMid lemained 
vacant. In the end Louis Quatone idved this 
problem, as he solved many others, by taking the 
power directly into his own hands. After 1074 
aU appdntments to the Councfl wore made by 
the King himsell. In that same year the nmnber 
of non-official membors was raised to seven, and in 
1708 it was further increased to twelve.' At the 
ha^t of its power, then, the Sovereign Council 
of New France consisted of the governor, the 
mtoidant, the bishop, and twelve lay councilors, 
together with an attorney-general and a clerk. 
These two last-named oflBcials sat with the Council 
but were not regular members of it. 

In the matter of powers the Council was given 
by the edict of 1663 jurisdiction over all civil and 
criminal matters under the laws and ordinances of 
the kingdom, its procedure in dealing with SMch 
matters to be modeled on that of the Parliament 
of Paris. It was to receive and to register the 
royal decrees, thus giving them validity in New 
France, and it was also to be the supreme tribunal 
of the colony with authority to establish local 
courts subordinate to itself. Thei« was no 

Syu&m of powwi in tiie new frame of government. 
legMJathre^ cawsntive, and judicial powers were 
thrown tc^gether in true Bourbon fashion. Appar- 
ently it wat Colbert's plan to make of the governor 
a distinguished figurehead, with large military 
powers but without paramount influence in civil 
affairs. The bishop was to have no civil juris- 
diction, and the intendant was to be the director of 
details^ The Council, according to the edict of 
1663, was to be the real pivot of power in New 

Through the long years of storm and stress 
which make up the greater part of the history ol 
the colony, the Sovereign Council rendered diE- 
gent and faithful service. There were times 
when passions waxed warm, when bitter words 
were exchanged, and when the ui«ent mtetesU 
of the colony were sacrificed to the settlement of 
personal jealousies. Many dnunrtac scenes wwe 
enacted around the long table at wiiicii the ooamai- 
ors sat at their weekly sessions, for emy Monday 
through the greato* portion ol the year the Com- 
oil conveDwl at seven o*dodc In tlie mofimig and 
usually sat until noon or later. But these wen 
only meteoric flashes. Hisliirians have given 
than undue promineace beeanse such q>isodes 


make racy reading. By far the greater portioa 
of the council's meetings were devoted to the 
serious and patient consideration ol mtkie him- 
ness. Matters of infinite variety came to it fcr 
determination, induding the regulation ol iiidiiili7 
and trade, the currency, the fiziiig of piieti, t&e 
interpretation of the nikt idatiiig to land tmar** 
fire prevention, poor le&f, ngakl&m of tlie 
liquor traffic, the mcouragement ol agrknilture— ' 
and these are only a f ev of the toi»cs takn at nn- 
dom from its calendar. In additioa tkoe wcfe 
thousands of disputes bio^t to it for settlenwnt 
either daectly or oa iqppeal from the lower mmt». 

The BUButes of ks deUbemdoiM dmkg tlM ninety- 
seven yetts horn September 18, 1668, to April 8. 
1760, m BO feww tluBi ifty-six pondems manu- 
sedpt vc^umes. 

Though, m tin e^ estabiMiing the Sovereign 
Council, no motion was made of an intendant, the 
decincHi to send such an official to New France 
came my shortly thereafter. In 1665 Jean Talon 
arrived at Quebec bearing a royal commission 
which gave him wide powers, infringing to some 
extent on the authority vested in the Sovereign 
Council two years previously. The phraseologj- 
was similar to that used in the commissiotts of the 

provmcid inteidaiiUBi fWmce. and 8o broad was 
the wmib^, indeed, tiiftt one might well ask 
powers could be left for exercise by 
■fc No wonder that the eighteenth- 
centmy apestle of frenaed finance, John Law, 
hmve heonically described Prance as a land 
"ruled by • kkig and his thirty intendants, upon 
whoie wfll atone its welfare and its wants depend. 
Along witb hk commission Talon brought to the 
coloiyr a letter of instructions from the minister 
whidi i^ve more detailed directions as to what 
thinfihe was to have in view and what he was to 

Ib Prance the office of intendant had long been in 
«irtence. Its creation in the first instance has 
er>mmr,nly been attributed to RicheUeu, but ^ 
milly antedated the coming erf the pwt em- 
flinal. The intendancy was not a -pimf^amm 
c reation, but a very old and. in its origin, a humbb 
I>ost which grew in importance with ike central, 
ization of power in the Kng'. han*. and wtM 
kept step in its devel<^««| ^ 
extmcUon of laml aelf^vemmcnl hi fit mi 

domahis. The piofum immim^ k $mm^ 

lutmeify France was d iMitMHl^ 



wm bound by no rigid itntiitn: bi omwl wlmi irn cc 
to no local withoiities; he wm appMW by the 
wtm wipBuiibli to fab iii imi^h aim. 

Rmb lint to Uwt tbere nwe » ^HB alHidaBts 
«f Hew Fmam, Ttim, wkom mAMm and 
«Mq{r^ ndi to«t^ <«Ih^ mlir Migu wm 

fab mMRTt hiBii^ w^ «d M flRNii to braif 
^ fami to iti to w rfnB , wMAeht. Be^i«e» 
^i^Bfc^MBB fii^^tf MBiAilef eflHMM^ fasfd'-workk^ 
«Mifa ^ wgfi i i ^qr ^« far better than they 
Mrvtell fbemadves, who gave the best years of their 
Iww to ^ task of Mddng New France a bright 
jefpd m ^ Bovrbon mwn. The cdonial intend- 
«it was the royal man-of-all-work. The King 
spoke and the intendant forthwith transformed his 
wofds into action. As the King's great interest 
in New France, coupled with his scant knowledge 
of its oMiditions, moved him to speak often, and 
usually in broad generalities, the iateadant's 
activity was prodigious and his discretioB wide. 
Ordinances and decrees flew frcMB his pen like 
sparks from a blacksmith's foife. The duty 
devolved upon him as the oreiseas t^^^ «| 
Gallic paternalism to "order everything as seemed 
jiiit aiid proper/' even when tfais broi^t ^ faiBd 

THS AGS OF LOUIS lyi^WMiif? ^ 

mto^vtiy hoam of the people, into their dafly 
wwk or vonhip or amusements. Nothing that 
neadad Httiqg aright was too inconsequential 
to hwe « ordinance devoted to it. As general 
reguklor of wioric and play, of manners and morals, 
of tUiga present and things to come, the intendant 
was lie busiest man in the colony. 

In addition to the governor, the council, and the 
intendant, there were many other officials on the 
civilhst. Both thegovemorand the intendant had 
their deputies at Montreal and at Three Biven. 
There were judges and bailiffs and seneschals and 
local officers by the score, not to speak ol tboae 
whc held sinecures or received royal peadm. 
There were garrisoas to be 'naintimod •! aB the 

fwmtier poaU and churck affieWf to be fappoftod 
^^^^ smns. Ho mmmd it wm Oiat New 
r^mct coM aem pi^ ^ owa wi^. £vcty 

^ wmdk tke Kii« bad to 
tfaeragral caniieqiiOT. 
1^ eokuQT, Mo te uvei , 
<^ffil'iwi cy. There 
lor 1^ idatively small 
their respective 
[uately defined, 
officials lacked even 


the semblance of hannony, nor did the royal 
authorities always view this deficiency with regret. 
A fair amount of woridng at cross-purposes, 
provided it did not bring affaiis to a complete 
■tandstill, was regarded as a necessary system 
<rf dtecks and baUmoes in a colony which lay thi ee 
thousand miles away. It prevented any chance 
of a general conspiracy against the home authori- 
ties or any wholesale wrong-doing through col- 
luaon. It served to make every official a ready 
tale-bearer in all matters concerning the motives 
and acts of his colleagues, so that the King might 
with reasonable certainty count upon hearing 
all the sides to every story. That, in fact, was 
wholly in consonance with Latin traditions of 
government, and it was characteristically the 
French way of doing things in the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries. 

Louis XIV took a great personal interest in 
New France even to the neglect at times ol things 
which his courtio-s deemed to be far more im- 
portant. The governor and the intendant jdied 
hun with their requests, with their grievaaoea* 
and too often with their prosy tales of petty 
squabbling. With every ship th<y sent to V»- 
•ailles their rnhnokes, <^ten <rf intolerable kngtli; 


and the patient monareh read them an. Marginal 
notes, made with his own hand, are still upon 
many of them, and the student who plods his way 
through the musty bundles of official correspond- 
ence in the Arekwes NaHonales will find in these 
marffnaH comments enough to convince him that 
whatever the failings of Louis XIV may have 
been, inddenoe was not of them. Then with the 
next ships the King sent back his budget of orders, 
counsel, reprimand, and praise. If the colony 
failed to thrive, it wa^ not because the royal 
mterest in it proved insincere or deficient 

The progress of New France, as reported in, 
these dispatches from Quebec, with their figures of ' 
slow growth in population, of poor crops, and of j 
failing trade, of Indian troubles and dai^ersf 
from the English, of privations at times md of 
deficits always, must often have dampened the i 
royal hopes. The requests lor subsidies horn 
the royal purse were especially refcaOeas. Every 
second dispatch contained pins Uxe nm^ or ht 

things which Wife bo«Bd to cost ms^ t Ae King 
provided them: maaey to eaaUe seme one to dear 
his lands, or to start im iinhiiby , et to ^ m Hfc 

of espbwtion to the wflib; moB«y to piwide MBie 
Pna^ to hmikd ctedMs, «r to wptm kstB- 



cations; money to pensioii offidab — the call for 
money was incessant year after year. In the face 
of these multifarious demands upon his exchetiuer, 
Louis XIV was amadngly generous, but the mora 
he gave, the more the eoikmy ailud bim him 
Until the end of his days, he never failed in re- 
sponse if the object seemed worthy of his siqpport 
It was not until the Grand Mboardi was gathered 
to his fathers that the officials of New Vnooe 
began to ply tl^ requests in vam. 

So much tar the frame of govemmoit in the col- 
ony during the age <^ Louis XIV. Now as to the 
happeningi during the decade foUowing leeS. The 
new adminktration made a promising start under 
the headship of De M6zy, a fdlow townsman and 
friend d Bishop Laval, who arrived in the autumn 
of 106S to take up his duties as governor. In a 
few days he and the bishop had amicably chosen 
the five residents of the colony who were to serve 
as councilors, and the council began its sessions. 
But troubles soon loomed into view, brought on in 
part by Laval's desire to settle up some old scores 
now that he had the power as a member of the 
Sovereign Council and was the dominating influence 
in its deliberations. Under the bishop's inspira- 
tion the Council ordered the seizure of some papen 

belongii^^ to F^ranne Dumeni^ 
the now defunct Company of One Hundred Ano- 
oatflt. Dumflna retorted by mag a ihnitr of 
duigee agwnrt aome of tlie oonndfen; and the 
coionitti at <»ice ranged themsdves into two op- 
po«Bg faetioiis— thoM who believed the chaiges 
and thoM who did not The bishop had become 
the stormy petrel fj{ cdonial pohtics, and nature 
had in truth weO fitted him for just such a rdle. 

Soon, moreover, the relations between M6zy 
and Laval themselves became less cordial. For 
a year the governor had proved ready to give 
way graciously on every point; but there was a 
limit to his amenability, and now his proud spirit 
began to chafe under the dictation of his ecclesi- 
astical coUeague. At length he ventured to show 
a mind of his own; and then the breach between 
him and Laval widened quickfy. Three of the 
councillors having joined the bishop against him, 
M6zy undertook a coup cTftat, dismissed these 
councilors from their posts, and called 
meeting of the people to choose their 
On the governor's part this was a serioa 
error. He could hardly expect that a 
who was doing his best to emd out the i 
of representative 


wdoome its establishment and encouragement 
by one of his own officials in the New World. But 
did not live to obey the recall which speedily 
came from the King a.^ the outocnne of this indis- 
cretion. In the ipriiig of 1665 he wag taken ill and 
died at Quebec. "He went to rest amoi^ the 
p«iq>eri/' says Parkman, ''and the priests, •erenely 
triumphant, sang requiems over his grave.*' 

But discord wkhin its bwders was not the 
ookmy's only trouble during these years. The 
aoourge ol the Iroquois was again uptm the land. 
During the years 1668 and 1664 ban^ of l^^lliawks 
and Cbeidas raided the regions td the Bididieu 
and penetnted to the settlement at Three Rivers. 
These petiUt guerreg were making things intoler- 
able for the colonists, and the King was urged to 
send <Hit a ff»ce ci troops large oiough to crcdi 
the bothersome savages once for all. This plea 
met with a ready response, and in June, 1665, 
Fhniville de Tracy with two hundred oflScers and 
men of the Regiment de Carignan-Sali^res dis- 
embarked at Quebec. The remaining companies 
of the regiment, making a force almost a thousand 
strong, arrived a little later. The people were 
now sure that deliverance was at hand, and the 
whole colony was in a frenzy of joy. 

mttnuno fern txt ciMatHCLII or Ammc* unh* thc 



wdoon ^ 

by one 

Mezy < 

came f 


died a 


and O 
and pc 
able U 
send c 
the be 
met M 
men < 
of the 
now a 

whde colony was in a fren^ of joy. 

Following the arrival of the troops came CW- 
celle, the new governor, and Jean TaI<Mi, wlio WM 
to take the post of intendant. These were gala 
days in New France; the whole colony had caught 
the spirit of the new imperialism. The bannera 
and the trumpets, the scarlet cloaks and the 
perukes, the glittering profusion of gold kce and 
feathers, the chinking of swords and muskets, 
transformed Quebec in a season from a wilderness 
viUage to a Vwsailles in miniature. Buttherewas 
littfc time for dress parades and affairs of ceremony . 
Tnw^y had come to giv« the Iroquois their coup 
de grdee» and the work must be done quickly. 
The Eing could not afford to have a thousand 
soldiers of the grand army eating their heads off 
through the long months of a Canadian winter. 

The work of getting the expedition ready, there- 
fore, was pushed rapidly ahead. Snowshoes were 
provided for the regiment, provisions and supplies 
were gathered, and in January, 1666, the expe- 
dition started up the frozen Richelieu, traversed 
Lake Champlain, and moved across to the head- 
waters of the Hudson. It was a spectacle new to the 
northern wilderness of America, this glittering and 
picturesque cavalcade of regulars flanked by tioapa 
of militiameu and bands of fur^thed Indiani 


moTuig on its errand of destruction along the 
frozen rivers. But the Frendi rcguUr tioc^ 
were not habituated to Icmg mardiet on anowshoes 
in the dead of winter; and they made progr m so 
slowly that the Dutch settlers of the regkm had 
time to warn the Mohawks of the approach at the 
expedition. This upset all French plans, since the 
leaders had hoped to fall upon the Mohawk 
villages and to destroy them before the tribesmen 
could either make preparations for defense or 
withdraw scnithward. Foiled in this plan, and 
afraid that an early thaw might make their route 
of return impossible, the French gave up their 
project and started home again. They had not 
managed to reach, much less to destroy, the 
villages of their enemies. 

But the undertaking was not an absolute failure. 
The Mohawks were astute enough to see that only 
the inexperience of the French had stood between 
them and destruction. Here was an enemy which 
had proved able to come through the dead of 
winter right into the regions which had hitherto 
been regarded as inaccessible from the north. The 
French might be depended to come again and, by 
reason of greater experience, to make a hotter job 
of their coming. The Iroquois reasoning was quite 

correct, as the sequel soon disclosed. In Septem^ 
ber of the same year the French had once again 
equipped their expedition, more eflfectively this 
time. Traveling overland along nearly the same 
route, it reached the country of the Mohawks 
without a mishap. The Indians saved them- 
selves by a rapid flight to the forests, but their 
palisaded strongholds were demolished, their 
houses set afire, their cachis of com dug out 
and destroyed. The Mohawks were kft to face 
the oncoming winter with nothing but the woods 
to shelter them. Having finished thdr task of 
piinishment, Tnuy and his regnoMBt made their 
way leisurely back to Quebec. 

The Mohawks were now quite ready to make 
terms, and in 1667 th«gr sent a delcgatkm to Que- 
bec to primer peace. Two raids into their terri- 
tories in successive years had taught them that 
they could not safely leave their homes to make 
war against the tribes of the west so long as the 
French were their enemies. And the desire to ^ 
dominate the region of the lakes was a first 
principle of Iroquois policy at this time. An 
armistice was accordingly concluded, which lasted 
without serious interruption for more than a 
decade. One of the provisions of Ihe peace was 


that Jesuit missioiu should be established in the 
Iroquois territory, this being dkr usual way in 
which the French assured thonsdves of diplomatic 
intercourse with the tribes. 

With its trade routes once more securely open. 
New France ww began a period of marked 
prosperity. y and his staff went back to 

France, but *nost of his soldiers remained and 
became settlers. Wives for these soUiiers were 
sent out under royal auspices, and liberal grants of 
money were provided to j the new households 
established. Since 1664, the trade of the colony 
had been once more in the hands of a commercial 
organization, the Company of the West Indies, 
whose financial success was, for the time being, 
assured by the revival of the fur traflSc. Industr-'-^s 
were beginning to spring into being, the popula . 
was increasing rapidly, and the King was showi*.^ 
a lively interest in all the colony's affairs. It was 
therefore a prosperous and promising colony to 
which Governor Frontenac came in 1672. 



The ten years foUowing 1663 form a decade <tf «- 
traordinary progress in the history <rf New France.*^^ '^""^ 
The population of the coIoq> had trebled, and 
now numbered approximately seven thousand* 
the red peril, thanks to Tracy's oieisetic work! 
had been lessened ; while the for tnde had grown 
to laige and lucrative praporticms. With this 
mcrease in p<^uhrtion and prosperity, there came 
a renaissance of enthusiasm for voyages of explora- 
tion and for the widaiing <rf the colony's frontiers. 
Glowing reporU went home to the King concern- 
ing the htent possibilities of the New World. 
What the colony now needed was a strong and 
vigorous govemOT who would not only keep a 
finn hold upon what had been already a<rhieved, 
but one who would also push on to greater and 
more glorious things. 
It was in keeping with this spirit of faith and 


hope tliat the Cog lent to Quebec, in lert, Louie 
de Buade, Coiiiit F^rontcnac, «*w»tng jiJm governor 
of an the F^endi domaiiii in North America. 
Fifty-two yean of age when he came to Canada, 
F^tenac had been a Mldier from his youth; he 
had fought through hard campaigns in Italy, in 
the Low Countries, and with the Venetians in their 
defense of Candia against the Turks. In fact, he 
had but shortly returned from this last service 
when he was chosen to succeed Courcelle as the 
royal representative in New France. 

To Frontenac*s friends the appointment seemed 
more like a banishment thau a promotion. But 
there were several reasons why the governor 
should have accepted gladly. He had inherited 
only a modest fortune, and most of this had been 
spent, for thrift was not one of Frontenac's virtues. 
His domestic life had not been happy, and thcfe 
were no strong per8<nial ties binding hun to fife 
in France.' Moreover, the post of governor in 
the colony was not to be judged by what it 
had been in the days of D'Avaugour or De 
M^. The reports sent home by Takn had 

' Saint-Simon, in his M6moiret, prints the cairent Fkriaian goMp 
that Frontenac was sent to New France to shield him from the bi- 
pcrioos temper of Us wife and to aflori Ua a aasM of fivcfihood. 

ttintd the national ambitions. *' I am no courtier," 
thii intendant had written, "and it is not to i lea^ 
the King or without reason that I say this portion 
of the French monarchy is going to become some- 
thing great. What I now see enables me to make 
such a prediction." And indeed the figures of 
growth in population, of acreage cleared, and of 
industries rising into existence seemed to justify 
th intendant's optimism. Both the fCi^g taid hk 
ministers were building high hopes on Canada, 
as their choice of Frontenac proves, and in tlieir 
selection of a man to carry out their pi fttt w they 
showed, on the whole, good judgment Fhmtenac 
proved to be the ablest and most commanding ol 
aU the officials who served the Bourbon mon- 
aidgr in the New WorW. In the kmg line ol 
govemois he approadied most nearly to what a 
Viceroy ought to be. 

It is true that in New IVanee there were con. 
ditions which no amount of experience in the Old 
World could tram a man to handle. Nor was 
Rontenac particuhirly fitted by traininj or 
temperammt for all of the duties which his new 
post mvolved. In some things he was well- 
endowed; he had great physical endurance, a 
strong will, with no end of courage, and industiy 


to spare. These were qualities of the highest 
value in a land encircled by enemici and forced 
to dqiend t<a existence vtptm the ttiei^^ of its 
own people. But more serviceable atill was his 
ability in adapting himsdf to a new environnient. 
Men past fifty do not ohm show this quality in 
marked degree, but IVimtenac fitted himself to 
the novelty of cdonial life exceedingly well. In 
his relations with the Indians he showed amazing 
skill. No other colonial governor, English, French , 
or Dutch, ever commanded so readily the respect 
and admiration of the red man. But in his deal- 
ings with the intendant and the bishop, with the 
clergy, and with all those among the French of 
New France who showed any disposition to dis- 
agree with him, Frontenac displayed an uncon- 
trollable temper, an arrogance of spirit, and a 
degree of personal vanity which would not have 
made for cordial relations in any field of human 
effort. He had formed his own opinions and was 
quite ready to ride rough-shod over those of other 
men. It was this impetuosity that served to make 
the official circles of the colony, during many 
months of his term, a "little hell of discord.** 

But when the new viceroy arrived at Quebec 
he was in high fettle; he was pleased with the 

iituatioii of the town and ^tMatd by tlie cnthusi- 
•rtic greeting wUeh lie lecdved from its people. 
His fint itep waa to familMrise himMlf with the 
eattlng maciiinery of colonial government, which 
lie found to be far from his Mdng. He proceeded. 
awooTdingly, in his own imperious way. to m - 
soiae startling changes. For one thing, he do 
to summon a represenUtive assembly made up of 
the derio', the seigneurs, and the common folk of 
New Prance. This body he brought together for 
his inauguration in October, 1672. No such 
assembly had ever been convened befo."ts, and 
nothing like it was ever allowed to assemble again. 
Before another year had passed, the minister 
sent Frontenac a polite reprimand with the 
intimation that the King could >t permit m the 
colony an institution he was dc a.g his best, and 
with entire success, to crush out at home. Hie 
same fate awaitt ' the go/emor's othei projecU 
the establishment of a municipal government in 
the town of Quebec Withm a few months <rf his 
arrival, Frontenac had allowed the people of the 
town to elect a syndic and two aldmnen, but the 
minister vetoed this action with the admonition 
that "you should veiy rarely, or, to speak more 
correcUy. never, give a corporate voice to the 


mhabitants, for ... it is well that each should 
speak for himself, and no one for all." In the 
reorganization of colonial administration, there- 
fore, the governor found himself promptly called 
to a halt. He therefore turned to another field 
whore he was mudi more successful in having 
his own way. 

From the day of his arrival at Quebec the 
governor saw the pressing need of nt^ding 
French influeoce and control into the regions 
bordering upon the Great Lakes. To dissipate 
the cdony's effturts in westward aq>ansion, how- 
ever, was exactly what he had been instructed not 
to do. The King and his ministers were sure 
that it would be far wiser to devote all available 
energies and funds to developing the settled por- 
tions of the land. They desired the governor to 
carry on the policy of encouraging agriculture 
which Talon had begun, thus solidifying the 
colony and making its borders less difficult to 
defend. Frontenac's instructions on this point 
could hardly have been more explicit, "His 
Majesty considers it more consistent with the good 
of his service," wrote Colbert, "that you apply 
yourself to clearing and settling the most fertile 
places that nearest the aeacoast and the 

communication with France tlian to think afar of 
explorations in the interior of the country, so 
distant that th^ can never be inhabited hy 
PrenchmoL" This was discouraging counsel, 
showing neither breadth of vision nor familiarity 
with the uigrat needs of the colony. Frontenac 
courageously set these instructions aside, and in 
doing so he was wise. Had he held to the 
letter of his instructions. New France would 
never have been more than a strip of terri- 
tory fringing the Lower St. Uwrence. More 
than any other Frenchman he helped to plan the 
great empire of the West. 

Notwithstanding the narrow views of his superi- 
ors at Versailles. Frontenac was convinced that 
the colony could best secure its own defense by 
controlling the chief line of water communicationa 
between the Iroquois country and Blontreal. To 
this end he prepared to buUd a fort at Cataraqui 
where the St. Lawrence debouches from Lake 
Ontario. He was not. however, the first to 
recognize the strategic value ol this pwnt Takm 
had marked it as a phu»<rf importance some yean 
before, and the English authorities at Albany had 
beoi luged by the Iroquois chiefs to forestall a^y 
■ttenqyt that the French might make by bemg 

first on the ground. But the English procrasti- 
nated, and in the summer of 1673 the governor, 
with an imposing array of troops and militia, made 
his way to Cataraqui, having first summoned the 
Iroquois to meet him there in solemn council. 
In rather h|gh dudgeon they came, ready to make 
trouble if the chance arose; but Frontenac's dis- 
play of armed strength, his free-handed bestowal 
of presents, his tactful handling of the chiefs, 
and his effective oratory at the conclave soon 
assured him the upper hand. The fort was built, 
and the Iroquois, while they continued to regard 
it as an invasion of their territories, were forced 
to accept the new situation with reluctant grace. 

This stroke at Cataraqui inflamed the govemor's 
interest in western affaii-s. During his conferences 
with the Indians he had heard much about the 
great waters to the West and the rich beaver 
lands which lay beyond. He was ready, there- 
fore, to encourage in every way the plans of those 
who wished to undertake journeys of expk>ration 
and trade into these regions, evai although he was 
well aware that such enterprises would win little 
commendation from his superiors at the royal 
court. Voyageurs rtady to undertake these tasks 
there were in plenty, and all of them found in the 


Lran Governor a stalwart friend. Foremost among 
these pioneers of the Far Country was Robert Cava- 
lier de La Salle, whom Frontenac had placed for a 
time in command of the fort at Cataraqui and who, 
in 1678, was commissioned by the governor to forge 
another link in the chain by the erection of a fort 
at Niagara. There he also built a small vessel, 
the first to ply the waters of the upper lakes, and 
in this La Salle and his lieutenants made their 
way to Michilimackinac. How he later journeyed 
to the Mississippi and down that stream to its 
mouth is a story to be told later on in these pages. 
It was and will remain a classic in the annals 
of exploration. And without Frontenac's vigor- 
ous support it could never have been accomplished. 
La Salle, when he performed his great feat of daring 
and endurance, was still a young man under forty» 
but his courage, firmness, and determination were 
not surpassed by any of his race. He had quali- 
ties that justified the confidence which the gover- 
nor reposed in him. 

But while La Salle was the most conspicuous 
among the pathfinders of this era, he was not the 
only one. Tonty, Du Lhut. La For«t, La Mothe- 
Cadillac, and others were all in Frontenac*s favor, 
and all had his vigorous support in their work. 

Intrepid woodnnen, they covered eveiy portion 
of the western wilderness, building forts and posts 
of trade, winning the fri^dship <rf the Indians, 
planting the arms of France in new soil and 
carrying the VexUla Regis into parts unknown 
before. If Frontenac could have he d his way, if 
the King had provided hun with the funds, he 
would have run an iron chain of fortified posts all 
along the great water routes from Cataraqui to the 
Mississippi— and he had lieutenants who were 
able to carry out such an undertaking. But 
there were great obstacles in the way,— the luke- 
waTnness of the home government, the bitter 
opposition of the Jesuits, and the intrigues of his 
coUeagues. Yet the governor was able to make a 
brave start, and before he had finished he had 
firmly laid the foundations of French tradmg 
supremacy in these western r^ons. 

During the first three years after his coming 
to Canada, the governor had ruled alone. There 
was no intendant or bishop to hamper him, for 
both Talon and Laval had gone to France in 
f 1672. But in 1675 Uval returned to the colony, 
and in the same year a new intaidant, Jacques 
Duchesneau, was appointed. With this change 
in the situation at Quebec the frfction began in 

eaniest, for FronteiMc's imperious temper did noi 
make him a cheerful sha -er of authority with any 
ooe else. If the intendanl and the bishop had 
been men of conflicting ideas and dispositions, 
Prontenac might easily have held the balance 
of power; but they were men of kindrec aims, 
and they readily combined against the governor. 
United in their opposition to him, tney were 
together a fair match for Frontenac in ability and 
astuteness. It was not long, accordingly, before 
the whole colony was once more aligned in two 
factions. With the governor were the UMachaiits, 
many of the seigneurs, and aU the eoumirt-de^wU, 
Supporting the intendant and the bishop wia« 
many of the subordinate oflkials, aD of the priests, 
and those of the tradesmen and habitants with 
whom the dmcal influence was paramount. 

The story of the quarrels whidi u-ent on between 
these two faeticms during tbe yean 1675-1680 is 
neither brief nor edifying. The root of it aU la- 
in the governor's western policy, his encourage 
ment of the forest traders or cmireurs-de-bms, and 
his connivance at the use of brandy in the Indian 
trade. Thwe were unseemly squabbles about 
precedence at council meetings and at rchgious 
festivals, about trivialities of eveiy sort; but the 


question of the brandy trade was at the bottom 
of them all. The bishop flayed the govmior for 
letting this trade go on; the missionaries declared 
that it was proving the ruin of their efforts; and 
the intendant declared that Frontenac Allowed 
it to continue because he was making a personal 
profit from the traffic. Charges and counter- 
charges went home to France with every ship. 
Hie intendant wrote dispatches of wearisome 
length, rehearsing the governor's usurpations, 
insults, and incompetence. "Disorder," he told 
the minister, "rules everywhere. Universal con- 
fusion prevails; justice is openly perverted, and 
violence supported by authority determines every- 
thing. In language quite as unrestrained Fronte- 
nac recounted in detail the difficulties with which 
he had to contend owing to the intendant*s 
obstinacy, intrigue, and dishonesty. The minister, 
appalled by the bewildering contradictions, could 
only lay the whole matter before the King, who 
determined to try first a courteous reprimand and 
to that end sent an autograph letter to each 
official. Both letters were alike in admonishing 
the governor and the intendant to work in har- 
mony for the good of the colony, but each con- 
cluded with the significant warning: "Unless you 

hannonize better in the future than in the past, 
my only alternative will be to recall you both.'* 
This intimation, coming straight from their 
royal master, was to each a rebuke which could 
not be misunderstood. But it did not accomplish 
much, for the bitterness and jealousy existing 
between the two colonial oflSctrs was too strong 
to be overcome. The very next vessels took to 
France a new budget of complaints and recrimi- 
nations from both. The King, as good as his word, 
issued prompt orders for their recall and the two 
officials left for home, but not on the same vessel, 
in the summer of 1682. 

The question as to which of the two was the 
more at fault is hardly worth determining. The 
share of blame to be cast on each by the verdict 
of history should probably be about equal. Fronte- 
nac was by far tho abler man, but he had the 
defects of his qualities. He could not brook the 
opposition of men less competent than he waa, 
and when he was provoked his arrogance be- 
came intoI««ble. In broader domains of political 
action he would soon have out-generaled his 
adversary, but in these petty fields of neighbor- 
hood bick^ing Duchesneau, particularly with the 
occasional nudgings which he received from Laval, 

proved no unequal match. The fact remains 
that neither was able or willing to sacrifice per- 
sonal animosities nor to display any spirit of coidial 
cooperation even at the royal command. The 
departure of both was regarded as a blessing by 
the majority of the colonists to whom the con- 
tinued squabbles had become wearisome. Yet 
there was not lacking, in the minds of many among 
them, the conviction that if ever again New 
France should find itself in urgent straits, if ever 
there were critical need of an inm hand to rule 
within and to guard without, there would still be 
one man whom, so long as he lived, they could 
confidently ask to be sent out to them again. 
For the time being, however, Frontenac's official 
career seemed to be ait an end. At sixty-two he 
could hardly hope to regain the royal favor by 
further service. He must have left the shores of 
New France with a heavy heart. 

Frontenac*s successor was La Barre, an old 
naval officer who had proved himself as capable 
at sea as he was new to show himself incompetent 
on land. He was the antithesis of his headstrong 
predecessor, weak in decision, without personal 
energy, without imagination, but likewise without 
any of Frontenac's skill in the art of making 

tsoeadm, WQt La Btm came MeuOes, an abler 
•nd mora eneiKetic ooUeague, who was to succeed 
Duchemeau as intendant. Both reached Quebec 
in the autumn of 1682. and problems in plenty 
they found awaiting them. Shortly before their 
arrival a fire had swept through the settlement at 
Quebec, leaving scarcely a building on the lands 
below the cliff. To make matters worse, the 
Iroquois had again thrown themselves across 
the western trade route and had interrupted the 
coming of the colony's fur supply. As every one 
now recognized that the protection of this route 
was essential. La Barre decided that the Iroquois 
must be teught a lesson. Preparations in rather 
ostentatious fashion were therefore made for a 
punitive expedition, and in the summer of 1684 
the governor with his troops was at Cataraqui 
At this point, however, he hegan to question 
whether a parley might not be a better means 
of securing peace than the laying waste of Indian 
lands. Accordingly, it was arranged that a 
council with the Iroquois should be held across 
the lake from Cataraqui at a ^ace which lat» 
took the name of La Famine from the fact that 
during the councO the French supph'es ran low 
and the troops had to be put on short rations. 


After negotiations which the (^ynica! chronicler 
La Hontan has described with picturesque realism, 
an inglorious truce was patched up. The new 
governor was sadly deficient in his knowledge of 
the Indian temperament. He had given the 
Iroquois an impression that the French were too 
proud to fight. For their part the Iroquois 
offered him war or peace as he might choose, 
and La Barre assured them that he chose to live 
at peace. When the expedition returned to 
Quebec there was great disgust throughout the 
colony, the edioes of which were not without 
their effect at Vosailles, and La Bane was forth- 
with recalled. 

In his place the Kng sent out the Marquis de 
Denonville in 1685 wifli power to make war on the 
tribesmen or to respect the peace as he might find 
ezpedi^t upon his arrival. The new governor 
was an honest, well-intentioned soul, neither men- 
tally incapable nor lacking in personal courage. 
He might have served his King most acceptably in 
many posts of routine oflScialdom, but he was not 
the man to handle the destinies of half a continent 
in critical years. His mission, to be sure, was no 
sinecure, for the Iroquois had grown bolder with 
the assurance of support from the English. Now 

that they were securing arms and ammunition 
from Albany it was probable that they would 
cany their raids right to the heart of New France. 
DenonviUe was therefore forced to the conclusion 
that he had better strike quickly. In making 
this decision he was right, for in dealing with 
savage races a thrust is almost always the best 

Armed preparations were consequently once 
more placed under way, and in the summer of 
1687 a flotiUa of canoes and batteaux bearing 
soldiers and supplies was again at Cataraqui. This 
time the expedition was stronger in numbers and 
better equipped than ever before. Down the 
lakes from Michilimackinac came a force <rf 
coureurs-de-bois, among them seasoned vet<»ans 
of the wilderness like Du Lhut, Tonty, La Poi^ 
Morel de la Durantaye, and Nicholas Perrot. each 
worth a whole squad of soldiers when it came to 
fighting the Iroqu<Ms in their own forests. Atthe 
rendezvous across the hike bom Cataraqui the 
French and their allies mustered nearly three 
thousand men. DenonviUe had n<nie of his 
predecessor's bravado coupled with cowardice; 
his phms were carried forward with a precision 
worthy of Frontenac. Unlike Frontenac, how- 


ever, he had a scant appreciation of the akill with 
which the red man could get out of the way in the 
face of danger, By moving too slowly after he 
had set out overland towards the Seneca villages, 
he gave the enemy time to place themselves out 
of his reach. So he burned their villages and 
destroyed laige areas of growing com. After 
more than a week had been spent in laying waste 
the land, Denonville and his expedition retired 
slowly to Cataraqui. Leaving part ot his force 
there, the governor went westward to Niagara, 
where he rebuilt in more substantial fashion La 
Salle's old fort at that point and placed it in charge 
ofag<irrison. The eovrmirt-dlt-ftoit then continued 
on their way to Micfailimackinac while Denonville 
returned to Montreal' 

The expedition of 1887 had not been a fiasco 
like that of 1685, but neither was it in any real 
way a success. It angered the whole Iroquois 
confed racy without having sufficiently impressed 
the Indians with the punitive power of the French. 
Denonville had stirred up the nest without destroy- 
ing the hornets. It was all too soon the Indians* 
turn to show what they could do as ravagers of 
unprotected villages; within a year after the 
French expedition had returned, the Iroquois 

bands were raiding the territoty of the WnaA to 
the very outskirts of MditwiHtwIf. The route 
to the west was barred; the f ort at Kiion had to 
be abandoned; Cataraqui waa cut off fc«n succor 
and ultimately had to be d«troyed by its garrison; 
not a single canoe-load of furs came down from the 
lakes during the entire summer. The merchants 
weie fadng rum. and the whole colony was begin- 
ning to tremble for its very existence. The seven 

years smee Prontenac left the hmd had indeed been 
a lurid interval. 

It was at this juncture that tidings of the 
oofony's dire distress were hurried to the King, 
and the Grand Monarch moved with rare good 
•ense. He promptly sent for that grim old vet- 
eran whom he had recalled in an r seven years 
before. In all the realm Frontenac was the 
one man who could be depended upon to restore 
the prestige of France along the great trade 

The Great Onontio. as Frontaiac was known to 
the Indians, reached the St. Lawrence m the Ute 
autumn of 1689, just as the colony was about to 
pass through its darkest hours. Quebec greeted 
h;m as a Redemptor Patriae; itspeopfc. m the words 
of LaHontan, were as Jews welcoming the Messiah. 



Nor was their enthusiasm without good cause, 
for in a few years Frontenac demonstrated his 
ability to put the colony on its feet once more. 
He s*?ttled its internal broils, opened the channels 
of trade, restored the forts, repulsed the English, 
and brought the Iroquois to terms. 

Now that his mission had been achieved and he 
was no longer as robust as of old, the Iron Gover- 
nor asked the minister to keep him in mind for 
some suitable sinecure in France if the opportu- 
nity came. This the minister readily promised, 
but the promise was still unfulfilled when Fronte- 
nac was stricken with his last illness. On Novem- 
ber 28, 1698, the greatest of the Onontios, or 
govonors, passed away. "Devoted to the service 
of his king," says his eulogist, "more busied with 
duty than with gain; inviolable in his fidelity to his 
triads, he was as vigorous a supporter as he was 
an untiring foe." Had his oflBcial career closed 
with his recall in 1682, Frontenac would have 
ranked as one of the singular misfits of the old 
French colonial system. But the brilliant suc- 
cesses of his second term made men forget the 
earlier days of petulance and petty bickerings. 
In the sharp contrasts of his nature Frontenac 
was an unusual man, combining many good and 

great qualities with personal shortoomiiigs that 
were equally pronounced. In the dvil history <^ 
New France he chaUenges attention as the most 
remarkable figure. 



The greatest and most enduring achievement of 
Frontenac's first term was the OEpIoration of the 
territory southwestward of the Great Lakes and 
the planting of French influoice there. This 
work was due, in large part, to the courage and 
energy ot the intrepid La Salle. Ren6-Robert 
Cavelier, Sieur de La SaUe, like so many others 
who followed the fleurHle-lis into the recesses of the 
nevr continent, was of Norman birth and lineage. 
Rouen was the town of his nativity; the year 1643 
probably the date of his birth. How the days of 
his youth were spent we do not know except that 
he received a good education, presumably in a 
Jesuit seminary. While still in the early twenties he 
came to Montreal where he had an older brof h», 
a priest of the Seminary of St. Sulpice. This was 
in 1666. Through the influence of his broths, 
no doubt, he received from the Seminaiy a gnmt 



of tlie aeigiieuiy at LMshine on the river above th^ 
town, and at once began the woik of devebping 
this property. 

If La Salle intended to become a yeomafl of 
New France* his choice of a site was not of the 
best. The seigneury which he acquired was one 
of the most dangerous spots in the whole colony, 
being right in the path of Iroquois attack. He 
was able to gather a few settlers around him, it 
is true, but their homes had to be enclosed by 
palisades, and they hardly dared venture into the 
fields unarmed. Though the Iroquois and the 
French were just now at peace, the danger of 
treachery was never absent. On the other hand 
no situation could be more favorable for one 
desiring to try his hand at ttu- fur trade. It was 
inevitable, therefore, that a young man ai La 
Salle's adventurous temperamoit and commeidai 
ancestry should soon forsake the iriocwke dnidgeiy 
of clearing land for the mcwe eiciting and iqjpar- 
ently more profitable punnit f<ne8t trade. 
That was what haiq>eiied. In the win^ of 
1668-1669 he heard from the Indians their 8t<ny 
of a great southwestem rivor which made its way 
to the "Vermilion Sea." The ledtal qu^Vkened 
the restless strain in his N<»man blood. Here, he 

thought, was the long-sought passage to the shores 
of the Orient, and he determined to foUow the river. 

Having no other means of obtaining funds with 
which to equip an expedition. La SaDe sold his 
seigneury and at on^ began his preparations. 
In July, 1669, he set off with a party of about 
twenty men, some of whom were missionaries 
sent by the Seminary of St. Siilpice to carry the 
tidings of the faith into the heart of the continent. 
Up the St. Lawrence and along the south shore of 
Lake Ontario they went, halting at Irondequoit 
Bay while La SaUe and a few of his foUowers 
went overhmd to the Seneca villages in search of 
guides. Continuing to Niagara, the party divided 
and the Sulpicians made their way to the Sault 
Ste. Marie, while La Salle with the remainder of 
the expedition struck out south of Lake Erie and in 
all probability reached the Ohio by descending one 
of Its branches. But, as no journal or contempor- 
ary record of the venture after they had left 
Niagara has come down to us, the detaUs of the 
journey are unknown. It is believed that de- 
sertions among his followers prevented further 
progress and that, in the winter of 166»-1670. 
La Salle retraced his steps to the hikes. Li its' 
main object the expedition had be«i a failure. 


Haviog exhausted his funds. La Salle had no 
opportunity, for the present at least, of making 
another trial. He accordingly asked Frontenrj 
for trading privileges at Cataraqui, the site of 
modem Kingston, where stood the fortified post 
named after the governor. Upon Frontenac's 
recommendation La Salle received in 1674 not only 
the exclusive right to trade but also a grant of 
land at Fort Frontenac on condition that he would 
rebuild the defenses with stone and supply a 
garrison. The conditions being acceptable, the 
explorer hastened to his new p<wt and was soon 
engaged in the fur trade upon a considerable scale. 
La Salle, however, needed more capital than he 
himself could supply, and in 1677 he made a aeooDd 
trip to France with letters from Frontenac to the 
King and Colbert. He also had the further 
design in view ot obtainhig authority and funds f 
another trip of ezphmtion to the West. Smce 
his previous expedition in 1669 two of his com- 
patriots, Marquette and Louis Jdiet, had 
leached the Great Biver and had found every 
reason for believing that its course ran south to the 
Gulf <rf Mexico, and not southwestward to the 
Gulf of California, as had previously been sup- 
posed. But they had not followed the Mississippi 


to it outlet, and this was what La SaUe was now 

determined to do. 

In Paris he found attentive listeners to his plans, 
and even the King's ministen were interested' 
so that when U SaUe sailed back to Quebec in* 
1678 he brought a royal decree authorizing him 
to proceed with his project. With him came a 
daring spirit who was to be chief lieutenant and 
faithful companion in the ensuing years, Henri de 
Tonty. This adventurous soldier was later known 
among the Indians as "Tonty of the Iron Hand," 
for in his youth he had lost a hand in battle, and 
m its stead now wore an artificial one of iron, 
which he used from time to time with wholesome 
effect He was a man of great physical strength 
and commensurate courage, loyal to his chief 
and almost La Salle's equal in perseverance. 

La Salle's party lost no time in proceeding to 
Fort Frontenae. Even though the wini . . v as at 
hand, Hennepin was at once jent f rn-ud to 
Niagara with instructions to build a post and to 
begin the construction of a vessel so that the 
journey westward migh be begun with the opcm- 
mg of spring. Later in the winter La Salle and 
Tonty joined the party at Niagara where the fort 
was completed. Before spring arrived, a vessel 

ol about lorty-fiye tons, the largest yet buflt for 
service on the kkes, had been constructed. On 
its prow stood a carved griffin, from the armorial 
bearings of Prontenac, and out of its portholes 
frowned several small cannon. With the advent 
of summer La Salle and his followers went aboard ; 
the sails were spread, and in due course the expe- 
dition reached Michilimackinac, where the Jesuits 
had ah^ady established their most westerly 

The arrival of the Griffin brought Indians 
by the hundred to marvel at the "floating fort" 
and to barter their furs for the trinkets with which 
La Salle had provided himself. The little vessel 
then sailed westward into Lake Michigan and 
finally dropped anchor in Greai Bay where an 
additional load of beaver skins was put on deck. 
With the approach of autumn the return trip began. 
La Salle, however, did not accompany his valuable 
cargo, having a mind to spend the wintw in 
es^lorations along the Illinois. LiSeptanbcr, 
with many misgivings, he watdied the Or^n set 
sail in charge of a pibt Then, with the rest ol 
his followers he started scmthward aloog the 
Wisconsin shore. Reaching the mouth ol the St 
Joseph, he stmdk into the interior to the upper 

Kankakee. This stream the voyageurs, who 
numbered about forty in all, descended until 
they reached the Illinois, which th^ followed 
to the point where Peoria now stands. 

Here La Salle's troubles began in abundance. 
The Indians endeavored to dissuade him from 
leading the expedition farther, and even the 
explorer's own followers began to desert Cha- 
grinned at these untoward circumstances and on 
his guard lest the Indians prove openly hostile. 
La Salle proceeded to secure his position by the 
erection of a fort to which he gave the name 
Crfeveooeur. Here he left Tonty with the major- 
ity of the party, while he himself started 
five men back to Niagara. His object was Ji 
part to get supplies for building a vessel at Fort 
Cr&vecoeur, and m part to learn what had become 
of the GrijgHn, for since that vessel had sailed 
homeward he had heard no word from her crew. 
Proceeding across what is now southern Michigan, 
La Salle emerged on the shores of the Detroit 
River. From this point he pushed across the 
neck of land to Lake Erie, where he built a canoe 
which brought him to Niagara at Eastertide, 
1680. His fears for the fate of the Grifin were 
now confirmed: the vessel had been lost, and with 


W a fortune in fuw. Nothing daunted, however. 
La Salle hurried on to Fort Frontenac and thence 
with such speed to Montreal that he accomplished 
the trip from the Illinois to the Ottawa in less 
than three months— a feat hitherto unsurpassed 
in the annals of American exploration. ^ 
At Montreal the explorer, who once more sought 
the favor of Frontenac, was provided with equip- 
ment at the King's expense. Within a few months 
he was again at Fort Frontenac and ready to rejoin 
Tonty at Crfevecoeur. Just as he was about to 
depart, however, word came that the Cr^vecGeur 
garrison had mutinied and had destroyed the post. 
La Salle's one hope now was that his faithful lieu- 
tenant had held on doggedly and had saved the 
vessel he had been building. But Tonty in the 
meantime had made his way with a few followen 
to Green Bay, so that when La SaDe reached the 
Illinois he found ev«yone gone. Undismayed 
by this climax to his misfortunes. La Salle nevetw 
theless pushed on down the Dlmois, and eariy 
in December reached its oonflu^ce with the 

To follow the course of this great stream with 
the small party which accompanied him seemed, 
howevor, too hazardous an unc -^.aking. La 

Salle, therefore, retraced his steps once more 
and spent the next winter at Fort Miami on the 
St. Joseph to the southeast of Lake Michigan. 
In the spring word came to him that Tonty was at 
Michilimackinac, and thither he hastened, to hear 
from Tonty's own lips the long tale of disaster. 
"Any one else," wrote an eye-witness of the meet- 
ing, "would have thrown up his hands and aban- 
doned the enterprise; but far from this, with a 
finnness and constancy that never had its equal, 
I saw him more resdved than ever to continue his 
work and push forward his discovery." 

Now that he had caught his first glimpsed the 
Miwissippi. U SaDe was determined to persist 
until he had followed its course to the outlet. 
Returning with Tonty to Fort Prontenac, he 
teplenished his supplies. In this same autumn of 
1681, with a larger number of followers, the explorer 
was again on his way to the Illinois. By February 
the party had reached the Mississippi. Passing 
the Missouri and the Ohio, La Salle and his follow- 
ers kept steadily on their way and early in April 
reached the spot where the Father of Waters 
debouches through three channels into the Gulf. 
Here at the outlet they set up a column with the 
insignia of France, and, as they took possessioB 

of tlw land in the name of their King, they chanted 
in adenm tones the Exaudiai, and in the ^»^rt of 
God they set up their banners. 

But the French were short of supplies and could 
not stay long after the symbols of sovereignty 
had been raised aloft. Paddling slow^ against 
the current. La Salle and his party reached the 
Illinois only in August. Here La Salle and 
Tonty built their Port St. Louis and here they 
spent the winter. During the nest sttmiMr 
(1683) the indefatigable explorer joumesyed down 
to Quebec, and on the last sL^ of the year took 
passage for PraL In the mewitiiiie, Rontenac, 
always his firm friend and siqyporter, had been 
recalled, and La Bane, the new governs, was 
unfriendly. A dhfect appeal to the home authori- 
ties for backing seoned the only way <rf securing 
funds for further eiplorations. 

AcwMfdingly, early in ie84 U SaUe appeared at 
the Frendi court with ekborate plans for founding 
a colony in the valley of the lower Mississippi. 
This time the expedition was to proceed by sea. 
To this project the King gave his assent, and 
cwmnMided the royal officers to furnish the sup- 
plies. By midsummer four ships were ready 
to set sail for the Gulf. Once more, however. 

troubles bewt La SaUe on every hand. Dueaae 
brake out on the vesaeb; the ofBcen quarreled 
unong theniMlves; tho expedition was attacked 
by the Spaniards, and one ship was lost. Not 
until the end <rf December was a landing made, 
and then not at the Mississippi's mouth but at a 
spot far to the west of it, <m the sands of Mata- 
gorda Bay. 

Finding that he had missed his reckonings, 
Ia Salle directed a part of his company to follov/ 
the shore. After many days of fruitless search 
they established a permanent camp and sent the 
largest vessel back to France. Their repeated 
efforts to reach the Mississippi over!and were in 
vain. Finally, in the winter cf 1687, La Salle with 
a score of his strongest followers struck out north- 
ward, determined to make their way to the Lakes, 
where they might find succor. To follow the 
detail of their dreary mardi would be tedious. 
The hardships of the journey, without adequate 
equipment or provisions, and the incessant danger 
of attack by the Indians increased petty jealousies 
into opeai mutmy. On the l»th of March, 1687, 
the courageous and mdefatigable La SaHe was 
treacherously assassmated by one of his own party. 
Here m the fastnesses of the Southwest died at 

the age of forty-four the intrepid explorer of New 
FrwKse, whom Tonty oJled-perhaps not untruth- 
ful— "otie of the greatest men of this age. " 

"Thua," writes a later historian with all the 
pewpecUve of the intervening years, "was cut 
short the career of a man whose personality is 
impressed in some respects more strongly than that 
erf any other upon the history of New France. Hia 
schemes were too far-reaching to succeed. They 
required the strength and resources of a half- 
dozen nations like the France of Louis XIV. 
Nevertheless the lines upon which New France 
continued to develop were substantially those 
which La Salle had in mind, and the fabric <rf a 
wilderness empire, of which he hud the foundations, 
grew with the general growth of cohmiaation. 
and in the next century became truly formidable. 
It was not until Wolfe climbed the Heights of 
Abraham that the great ideal of La Salle was 
finally overthrown." 

It would be difficult, indeed, to find among the 
whole array of explorers whidi history can oOFer 
in aU ages a perseverance more dogged in the face 
of abounding difficulties. Phoenix-like, he rose 
time aft» time from the ashes of adversity. 
Neither fatigue nor famine, disappointment nor 

even disaster, availed to swerve him from liis 
purpose. To him, more than to any one else of 
his time, the French could justly attribute their 
early hold upon the great regions of the West. 
Other explorers and voyageurs of his generation 
there were in plenty, and their service was not 
inconsiderable. But in courage and persistence, 
as well as in the scope of his achievements. La 
Salle, the pathfinder of Rouen, towered above them 
all. He had, what so many of the others lacked, 
a dear vision of what the great plains and valleys 
of the Middle West could yield towards the enrich- 
ment of a nation in years to come. " America, " as 
Parkman has aptly said, "owes him an enduring 
memory; for in this masculine figure she sees 
the pioneer who guided her to the possession of 
her richest heritage. ** 



Nearly all that was distinctive in the hfe of old 
Canada links itself in one way or another with 
the Catholic religion. From first to last in the 
history of New Prance the most pervading trait 
was the loyalty of its people to the chunsh of their 
fathers. Intendants might come and go; gover- 
nors abode their destined hour and went their way; 
but the apostles of the ancient faith never lot one 
moment released then- grip upon the hearts and 
minds of the Canadians. During two centurfcg 
the political life of the cokmy ran its varied 
rounds ; the habits of the people were transformed 
with the coming of material prosperity; but the 
Church wait on unchanged, unchanging. One 
may praise the steadfastness with which the 
Church fought tot what its bishops believed to be 
Hght, or one may, <m the other hand, decry the 
■wogwice of its pretensions to civU power and its 
• us 

hampering conservatism; but as the great central 
fact in the history of New France, the hegemony 
of Catholicism cannot be ignored. 

When Frenchmen began the work of founding 
a dominion in the New World, their own hind 
was convulsed with religious troubles. Not only 
were the Huguenots breakmg from the trammeb 
of the old religion, but within the Catholic Church 
itself m France there were two great contending 
factions. One group strove for the preservation 
of the Gallican UberUes, the special rights of the 
French King and the French bishops in the ecclesi- 
astical government of the land, while the other 
daimed for the Pope a supremacy over all earthly 
rulers m matters of spiritual concern. It was not 
a difference on pomts of doctrine, for the Gallicans 
did not question the headship of the Papacy in 
things of the spirit. What they insisted upon 
was the circumscribed nature of the papal power 
in temporal matters within the realm of France, 
particularly with regard to the right of appomt- 
ment to ecclesiastical positions with endowed 
revenues. Bishops, priests, and religious orden 
ranged themselves on one side or the other, for 
it was a conflict in which there could benonea- 
trality. As the royal authorities were heart and 

soul with the Gallicims, it was natural enough 
that priests of this group should gain the first 
religiouo foothold in the colony. The earliest 
priests brought to the colony were members of 
the R6coUet Order. They came with Champlain 
in 1615, and made their headquarters in Quebec 
at the suggestion of the King's secretary. For 
ten years they labored in the colony, striving 
bravely to clear the way for a great missionaiy 

But the day of the Recollets in New Prance was 
not long. In 1625 came the advance guard of 
another religious order, the militant Jesuits, 
bringing with them their traditions of unwavering 
loyalty to the Ultramontane cause. The work 
of the E^ollets had, on the whole, been dis- 
appointing, for their numbers and their resources 
proved too smaU for <^ective progress. During 
ten years of devoted hibor th^ had scarcely been 
able to make any impressiMi upon the great 
wilderness of heath<»iism that hiy on all sides. 
In view of the apparent futility of their eflForts 
the coming of the Jesuits -suggested, it may be,* 
by Champlain — was probably not unwelcome ta 
them. Richelieu, moreover, had now brought 
his Ultramontane sympathies close to the seat of 

royal power, so that the King no longer was in a 
position to oppose the project. At any rate the 
Jesuits sailed for Canada, and then- arrival forms 
a notable landmark in the history of the colony. 
Their dogged zeal and iron pereistence carried 
them to pomts which missionaries of no other 
religious order would have reached. For the 
Jesuits were, above aU thmgs else, the harbingers 
of a militant faith. Then- organization and their 
methods admirably fitted them to be the pioneers 
of the Cross in new knds. They were men of 
action, seeking to win their crown of glory and 
then- reward through intense physical and spiritual 
exertions, not through long seasons of prayer 
and meditation m cloistered seclusion. Loyola, 
the founder of the Order, gave to the world the 
nucleus of a crusading host, disciplined as no army 
ever was. If the Jesuits could not achieve the 
spuitual conquest of the New World, it was 
certam that no others could. And this conquest 
they did achieve. The whole course of Catholic 
missionary effort throughout the Western Hemi- 
sphere was shaped by members of the Jesuit 

Only four of these priests came to Quebec in 
1625. Although it was intended that others shouW 

follow at once, thdr number was not substantially 
increased untfl seven years later, when the troubles 
with England were brought to an end and the 
colony was once more securely in the hands of the 
French. Then the Jesuits came steadily, a few 
arriving with almost every ship, and either singly 
or together they were sent off to the Indian settle- 
ments — to the Hurons around the Georgian Bay, 
to the Algonquins north of the Ottawa, and to the 
Iroquois south oi the Lakes. The physical vigor, 
the moral heroism, and the unquenchable religious 
zeal of these missionaries were qualities exemplified 
in a measure and to a degree which are beyond 
the power of any pen to describe. Historians of 
all creeds have tendered homage to their self- 
sacrifice and zeal, and never has woik of human 
hand or spirit been more worthy ol tribute. The 
Jesuit went, often alone, where no otiuos dared 
to go, and he faced unknown dangers which had 
all the possibilities of torture and martyrdom. 
Nor did this energy waste itself in flashes ol 
isolated triumph. The Jesuit was a monbw (rf 
an <^ent organisation, skillfully guided by in- 
^ired leaden and carrying its extensive work of 
ChristianizatKm with machine-like thoroughness 
through the vastness ol five continents. We are 

too apt to think only of the individual mission- 
ary's glowing spirit and rugged faith, his pictur- 
esque strivings against great odds, and to regard 
him as a guerilla warrior against the hosts of 
darkness. Had he been this, and nothing more, 
his efforts must have been altpgetherin vain. The 
great services which the Jesuit missionary rendered 
in the New World, both to his country and to his 
creed, were due not less to the matchless organi- 
zation of the Order to which he belonged than to 
qualities of courage, patience, and fortitude which 
he himself showed as a missionary. 

During the first few years of Jesuit effort 
among the Indians of New France the results 
were pitifully smaH. The Hurons, among whom 
the missionaries put forth their mitial labors, 
were poor stock, even as red men went. The 
minds of these half-nomadic and dull-witted sav- 
ages were filled with gross superstitions, and their 
senses had been brutalized by the incessant tor- 
ments of their Iroquois enemies. Amid the toils 
and hazards and discomforts of so insecure and 
wandering a life the Jesuits found htUe oppor- 
tunity for soundly mstructing the Hurons in the 
faith. Hence there were but few neophytes in 
these early years. By 1640 the missionaries could 

count only a hundred converts in a population of 
many thousands, and even this little quoU 
included many infants who had died soon after 
receiving the rites of baptism. More mission- 
aries kept coming, however; the work steadily 
broadened; and the posts of service were multi- 
plied. In due time the footprints of the Jesuits 
were everywhere, from the St. Lawrence to the 
Mississippi, from the tributaries of the Hudson 
to the regions north of the Ottawa. Le Jeune, 
Masse, Brebeuf, Lalemant, Ragueneau, Le 
Dablon, Jogues, Gamier, Raymbault, P^n, 
Moyne, AUouez, DruiUetes, Chaumonot, Menard, 
Bressani, Daniel, Chaband, and a hundred others, 
—thQrsoonformedthatlegion whose works of cour- 
age and devotion stand forth so prominently in the 
early annals of New France. 

Once at ih&r stations in the upper country, the 
missionaries regularly sent down to the Superior 
of the Order at Quebec their full reports of 
progress, difficulties, and hopes, all mingled with 
interesting descriptions of Indian customs, folk- 
lore, and life. It is no wonder that these narra- 
tives, "jotted down hastily," as Le Jeune tells us, 
"now in one place, now in another, sometimes on 
water, sometimes on land," were often crude, or 

that th^ required careful editing befor being 
aent home to France for publication. In their 
printed form, however, these MaHoM des JStuHes 
gained a wide circle of European readers; they 
inspired more misiiionaries to come, and they 
drew from well-to-do laymen large donations 
of money for carrying on the crusade. 

The royal authorities also gave their earnest 
support, for they saw in the Jesuit missionary not 
merely a torchbearer of his faith or a servant of the 
Church. They appreciated his loyalty and remem- 
bered that he never forgot his King, nor shirked 
his duty to the cause of France among the tribes. 
Every mission post thus became an embassy, 
and every Jesuit an ambassador of his race, striv- 
ing to strengthen the bonds of friendship between 
the people to whom he went and the people from 
whom he came. The French authorities at Que- 
bec were not slow to recognize what an ever- 
present help the Jesuit could be in times of Indian 
trouble. One governor expressed the situation 
with fidelity when he wroti to the home authori- 
ties that, "although the interests of the Gospel do 
not require us to keep missionaries in all the Indian 
villages, the interests of the civil government for 
the advantage <rf trade must induce us to manage 

tliiiig» so tiiat we may always have at least one of 
th«n there. " It must therefore be admitted that, 
when the civil authorities did encourage the 
missions, they did not always do so with a purely 
spiritual motive in mind. 

As the political and commercial agent of his 
people, the Jesuit had great opportuniUes, and 
in this capacity he usually gave a fuU measure of 
service. After he had gained the confidence of the 
tribes, the missionary always succeeded in getting 
the first inkling of what was going on m the way 
of inter-tribal intrigues. He learned to fathom 
the Indian mind and to perceive the redskin's 
motives. He was thus able to communicate to 
Quebec the information and advice which so often 
helped the French to outwit their English rivals. . 
As intc rpreters in the conduct of negotiations and 
the making of treaties the Jesuits were also in- 
valuable. How much, indeed, these blackpobes 
achieved for the purely secular mterests of the 
French cdony, fer its safety from sudden Indian 
attack, for the development of its trade, and for 
its general upbuilding, will never be known. The 
missionary did not put these things on paper, 
but he rendered services which in all probabihty 
were far greater than posterity wiU ever realize. 


It was not, however, with the convenkm of the 
Indians or with the service of French lecular 
interests among the savages that the work ol the 
Jesuits was wholly, or even chiefly, ccmcemed. 
During the middle years of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, these services at the outposts of French 
territory may have been most significant, for the 
French population along the shores of the St. 
Lawrence remained small, the settlements were 
closely huddled together, and a few priests could 
serve their spiritual needs. The popular impres- 
sion of Jesuit enterprises in the New World is 
connected almost wholly with work among the 
Indians. This pioneer phase of the Jesuit's work 
was picturesque, and historians have had a great 
al to say about it. It was likewise of this service 
m the depths of the interior that the missionary 
himself wrote most frequently. But as the colony 
grew and broadened its bounds until ite settle- 
ments stretched all the way from the Saguenay to 
Montreal and beyond, a far larger number of 
curSs was needed. Before the old regime came to 
a close there were far more Frenchmen than 
Indians within the French sphere of influence 
in America, and ikey required by far the greater 
share of Jesuit ministration, and, long before the 

- - - 4- . .. 

old (kmimion ended, the Indian missions had to 
take a subordinate place in the general program 
of Jcsm*t undertakings. The outposts in the In- 
dian country were the chief scene of Jesuit labors 
from 1615 to about 1700, when the emphasis 
shifted to the St. Lawrence valley. Some of the 
mission fields held their own to the end, but in 
general they failed to make much headway during 
the last half-century of French rule. The Church 
in the settled portions of the colony, however, 
kept on with its steady progress in achievemeiit 
and power. 

New France was the child of missionaiy fervor. 
Even from the outset, in the scattered settlements 
along the St. Lawrence, the interests of religion 
were placed on a ff.iictly missionaiy basis. There 
were so-called parishes in the colony almost 
from its beginning, but not witil 1722 was the 
entire colony set off into recogniied ecclesiastical 
parishes, each with a fixed euri in charge. 
Through all the preceding years each village or 
cdte had been served by a missionary, by a mov- 
able euriy or by a priest sent out from the Semi- 
nary at Quebec. No priest was tied to any parish 
but was absolutely at the immediate beck and call 
of the bishop. Some reason for this unsettled 

arrangement might be found in the conditions 
under which the colony developed in its early 
years, with its sparse popuiation ranging far and 
wide, with iU lack of churches and of preshythet 
in which the priest might reside. But the real 
cxphmation of its long continuance lies in the 
fact that, if regular cuHt were appointed, the 
seigneurs would lay claim to various rights of 
nomination or patronage, whereas the bishop could 
cwitrd absolutely the selection of missionary 
priests and could thus more easily carry through 
his policy of ecclesiastical centralization. 

Not only m this parUcular, but in every other 
phase of religious life and organization during 
these crusading days in Canada, one must reckon 
not only with the logic of the situation, but also 
with the dominating personality of the first and 
greatest Ultramontane, Bishop Laval. Though 
not himself a Jesuit, for no member of the Order 
could be a bishop, Laval was in tune with their 
ideals and saw eye to eye with the Jesuits on ev-^ 
point of religious and civil policy. 

T ngois-Xavier de Laval, Abb6 de Montigny. 
was bom in 1622. a scion of the great house of 
Montmorency. He was thaefore of h^gh nobility , 
the best-bom of aU the many thousands who came 


to New RMce throughout its history. As a youth 
he had come into dose tuisociution with the 
Jeraits, and had spent four ^ ears in the famous 
Hennitage at Caen, that Jesuit stronghold which 
served so long as fi.e nursery for the spiritual 
pioneers of vurh Canada. When he came to 
Quebec Sis Vicar Apostolic in 1659, he was only 
thirty-seven years of age. His portion in the 
oniony at the time of his arrival was somewhat 
unusual, for althoufe was to hv in command 
of the colony's spiritual forces. New fkaooe wat 
not yet organized as a dioceK and eoukl not 
be so organized until the Pope and ^ m^g 
should agree upon the exact status of tlie Church 
in the French colonial dominions. Laval was 
nevertheless given his titular rank htm the andent 
see of Petr«a in Arabia which hud long since been 
in partibM i^fideUtm and hence had no bish<^ 
withm its bounds. From his fiwt arrival m 
Canwb he was Buhop Laval, but without a 
diocese ova- which he could actuaUy hold sway. 
His commissicm as Vicar-Apostolic gave him 
power enough, however, and his responsibility 
was to the Pope akme. 

For the tasks which he was sent to perform, 
Laval had eminent qualifications. A haughty 


spirit went with the ultra-blue blood in his veins; 
he had a temperament that loved to lead and to 
govern, and that could not endure to yield or 
to lag behind. 'His intellectual talents were high 
beyond question, and to them he added the bless- 
ing of a nigged physical frame. No one ever 
came to a new land with more definite ideas of 
what he wanted to do or with a more unswerving 
determinati<m to do it in his own way. 

It was not long hdare the stamp of Laval's firm 
hand was laid upon the life of the colony. In 
due coarse, too, he found himself at odds with 
the governor. The dissensions smouldered at 
first, and then broke out into a blaze that warmed 
the passions of all elements in the colony. The 
exact origin of the feud is somewhat obscure, 
and it is not necessary to put down here the details 
of its development to the war d outrance which 
soon engaged the civil and ecclesiastical authorities 
in the colony. In the background was the ques- 
tion of the coureurs-de-bois and the liquor trafiSc 
which now became a definite issue and which 
remained the storm centre of colonial politics 
for many generations. The merchants inauted 
that if this traffic were extinguished it would 
involve the ruin of the French hold upon the 

Indian trade. The bishop and the priests, on the 
other hand, were ready to fi^^t the Kquor traffic 
to the end and to exordse it as the greatest blight 
upon the New World. Quebec soon became a 
cockpit where the battle (rf these two factions 
raged. Each had its ups and downs, until in the 
Old the traffic remained, but under a makeshift 
system of regulation. 

To portray Lavid and his associates as always in 
bitter conffict with the civil power, nevertheless, 
would be to paint a false picture. Church and 
state were not normally at variance in their views 
and aims. They clashed fiercely on many occa- 
sions, it is true, but after their duels they shook 
hands and went to work with a will at the task 
of making the colony stand upon its own feet 
Historians have magnified these bidcerings out erf 
all proportion. Squabbles over matters of pre- 
cedence at ceremonies, over the rate of the tithes, 
and over the curbing of the eoureurt-de-hoit did 
not take the major share of the Church's attentkm. 
For the greater part of two whole centuries it 
loyally aided the dvil power In aD things whocin 
the two could woik togetha for good. 

And these ways of assistance were many. Fot 
example the Church, through its various mstitu* 

tions and orders, rendered a great service to 
colonial agriculture. As the greatest J^mipwiier 
in New France, it set before the seigneurs and the 
habitants an example of what intelligent methods 
of farming and hard labor could accomplish in 
making the land yield its increase. The King 
was lavish in his grants of territory to the Church: 
the Jesuits received nearly a million arpents 
as their share of iue royal bounty; the bishop 
and the Quebec Seminary, the Sulpidans, and 
the Ursulines, about as much m<we. Of the entire 
granted acreage <d New France the Church 
controlled about one-quarter, so that its position 
as a great landowner was even stronger in the 
colony than at home. Nor did it fold its talents 
in a napkin. Colonists were brought from France, 
farms were prepared for them in the church seign- 
euries, and the new settlers were guided and 
encouraged through the troublous years of pioneer- 
ing. With both money and brains at its command, 
the Church was able to keep its own hmds in the 
front line of agricultural progress. 

When in 1722 the whole colony was marked oS 
into definite ecclesiastical divisions, seventy-two 
parishes were established, and neariy one hundred 
curSs were assigned to them. As time weal on. 

both parishes and cur^B increaaed m number, ao 
that eveiy locality had its apiritiial leader who wa» 
also a philosopher and guide in all secular matten. 
The priest thus became a part of the commu- 
nity and never lost touch with his people. The 
habitant of New France for his part never neg- 
lected his Church on week-days. The priest 
and the Church were with him at work and at 
play, the spirit and the life of every community. 
Though paid a meager stip nd, the curS worked 
bard and always proved a laborer far more than 
worthy of his hire. The clergy of New France 
never became a caste, a privileged order; they 
did not live on the fruits of other men's labor, but 
gave to the colony far more than the colony 
ever gave to them. 

As for the Church revenues, these came from 
several sources. The royal treasury contributed 
large sums, but, as it was not full to overflowing, 
the King preferred to give his benefaKstions in' 
generous grants of knd. Yet the royal lubadies 
amounted to mai^y thousand livics each year. The 
diocese of Quebec was endowed with the revenaei 
of three French abb<^ Wealthy laymm in 
France foUowed the royal example and sent 
contributions from time to time, frequently <rf 


large amount. While the Company of One 
Hundred Associates controlled the trade of the 
colony, it made from its treasury some provisions 
for the support of the missionaries. After 1663, 
a substantial source of ecclesiastical income was 
the tithe, an ecclesiastical tax levied annually 
upon all produce of the land, and fixed in 166S 
at one-thirteenth. Four years later it was reduced 
to one-twenty-sixth, and Bishop Laval's strenuous 
efforts to have the old rate restored were never 

In education, yet another field of colonial life, 
the Church rendered some service. Here the civil 
autJiorities did nothing at all, and had it not been 
for the Church the whole cdony would have grown 
up in absolute illiteracy. A school for boys was 
established at Quebec in Champlain*s day^ and 
during the next hundred and fifty years it was 
followed by about tWrty others. More than a 
dozen elementary schools for girls were also 
established under ecclesiastical auspices. Yet 
the amount of secular education imparted by all 
these seminaries was astoundingly small, and they 
did but little to leaven the general illiteracy of 
the population. Only the children of the towns 
attended the rchools, and the px jgram of study 

was of the most elementaiy character. Rellgioiia 
instruction was given the first place and received 
so much attention that there was little time in 
school hours for anythmg else. The girls fared 
better than the boys on the whole, for the nuns 
taught them to sew and to knit as well as to read 
and to write. 

So far as secukr education was concerned, 
therdore, the English conquest found the colony 
in aknost utter stagnation. Not one in five 
hundred among the habitants, it was said, could 
read or write. Outside the immediate circle of 
dergy, officials, and notaries, ignorance of even 
the rudiments of education was almost universal. 
There were no newspapers in the colony and very 
few books save those used in the services of worship. 
Greysolon Du Lhut, the king of the voyageurs, 
for example, was a man of means and education, 
but his entire library, as disclosed by his will, 
consisted of a world atlas and a set of Josephus. 
The priests did not encourage the reading of 
secular books, and La Hontan recounts the troubles 
which he had in keeping one militant euri from 
tearing his precious volumes to pieces. New 
France was at that period not a land where fcw- 
dom dwdt with knowledge. 



InteUectually, the people rf Xew France com. 
prised on the one hand a smaU 61ite and on the 
other a great unlettered mass. There was no 
middle class between. Yet the population of the 
colony always contained, especially among iU 
officials and clergy, a sprinkling of educated and 
scholarly men. These have given us a literature 
of travel and description which is extensive and 
of high quality. No other American colony of 
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries put so 
much of its annals into print; the lUUOums of the 
Jesuits alone were sufficient to fiO forty-ooe vol- 
umes, and they form but a small part of the entire 
literary output. 



Pbom the beginning of the colony there ran in the 
minds of French officialdoni the idea that the social 
order should rest upon a setgneurial basis. His- 
torians have commonly attributed to Bacheiieu 
the genesis of New World feudalism, but witlumt 
good reason, for its beginnings antedated the time 
of the great minister. The charter inoed to the 
iU-starred La Roche in 1598 empowered him "to 
grant Unds to gentlemen in the f onns of fiefs and' 
seigneuries," and the different viceroys who. 
bad titular charge of the colony before the Com- 
pany of One Hundred Associates took charge in 
1827 had similar powers. Several seigneurial 
grants in the region of Quebec had, in fact, been 
made bef<»e Richelieu first turned his attention 
to the edony. 

Nor was the adoption of this policy at all 

mmaturaL ' Despite its increasing obsolescence 

188 ' 

the se^sneurial syttem was stiU strong in France 
and dominated the greater part of the kingdom. 
The nobihty and even the throne rested upon it. 
ZThe Church, as suzerain of enormous landed 
estates, sanctioned and supported it. , The masses 
of the French people were familiar with no other 
system of landholding. No prolonged quest need 
accordingly be made to explain why France 
transplanted feudalism to the shores of the great 
Canadian waterway; in fact, an explanation 
would have been demanded had any other policy 
been considered. No one asks why the Puritans 
took to Massachusetts Bay the English system 
of freehold tenure. They took the common law 
of England and the tenure that went with it. 
Along with the fleur-de-lis, likewise, went the 
Custom of Paris and the whole networic of social 
relations based upon a hierarchy of seigneura and 

The seigneurial system of hmd tenure, as aU 
students of history know, was feudalism in a 
somewhat modernized form. During the chaos 
which came upon Western Europe in tiie centuries 
foUowing the coUapse of Roman imperial suprem- 
acy, every local magnate found himself forced 
to depend for existence upon the strength of his 

?Xo...- s' » c V 


own cagtle, under whow walk he gathered as many 
vassals as he could induce to come. To these he 
gave the surrounding lands free from all rents, but 
on condition of aid in time of war. The lord gave 
the knd and promised to protect his vassals, who, 
on then- part, took the land and promised to pay 
for it not in money or in kind, but in loyalty and 
service. Thus there was created a close personal 
relation, a bond of mutual wardship and fidelity 
which bound liegeman and lord with hoops of 
steel. The whole social order rested upon this 
bond and upon the gradations in privilege which it 
involved in a sequence which became stereotyped. 
In its day feudalism was a great institution and 
one which shared with the Christian Church 
the glory of having made medi«va] life at aU 
worth living. It hdped to keep dviliMticm from 
perishing utterly in a whiri ot anarchy, and it 
enabled Europe to recovw inch by indi its former 
state of order, stability, and law. 

But, having done its service to humanity, feudal- 
ism did not ^etly make way for some other 
^ystan more suited to the new conditions. It 
hung on grimly long after the forces which had 
brought it into being ceased to exist, long after the 
«rowth of a strong monarchy in Prance with a 

[ c 

powerful standing army had removed the neceauty 
of mutual guardianship and service. To meet the 
new conditions the system merely changed its 
incidents, never its general form. The aocioit 
obligation of military service, no longer needed, 
gave place to dues and payments. The old 
personal bond relaxed; the feudal lord became 
the seigneur, a mere landlord. The vassal became 
the centiUare, a mere tenant, paying heavy dues 
each year in return for protection which he no 
longw received nor required. In a word, before 
1600 the feudal system had become the seigneurial 
system, and it was the latter which was established 
in the Froich colony of Canada. 

In the new land there was reason to hope, how- 
ever, that this system of social relations based 
upon landholding would soon work its way back 
to the vigor which it had displayed in mediseval 
days. Here in the midst of an unfathomed wilder- 
ness was a small European settlement with hostile 
tribes on every hand. The royal arm, so strong 
in affording protection at home, could not strike 
hard and promptly in behalf of subjects a thou- 
sand leagues away. New France, accordingly 
must organize itself for defense and repel her 
enemies just as the earldcnns and duchies of the 


•nisading centuries lud done. And tliirt is just 
what the colooy did, with the leigneuria] system 
the groondworiL of defensive strength. Under 
of the new envuxmment, which was not 
wholly unlike that of the former feudal days, the 
mffitaiy aspects of the system revived and the 
personal bond regained much of its ancient vigor. 
The sordid phases of seigneurialism dropped into 
the background. It was this restored vitality 
that helped, more than all else, to turn New 
France into a huge armed camp which hordes of 
invaders, both white and red, strove vainly to 
pierce time after time during more than a fuU 

The first grant of a seigneury in the territory of 
New France was made in 162S to Louis Hubert, 
a Paris apothecary who had come to Qndbec 
with Champlain some years before this date. 
His land consisted of a tract upon the hei^t 
above the settlement, and here he had cleared the 
fields > i built a home for himsei; By this 
indenture feudalism cast iU first andior in New 
Ranoe, and Hubert became the colony's first 
patron of husbandry. Other grants soon fdlowed, 
particularly during the yean when the Oanpany of 
One Hundred Associates was in control of the 

laad, for, by the terms of ite charter, this 
zation was empowered to grant Uagt tracts at 
seigneuries and also to iMue patents at adb^. 
It vv as doubtless .issumed by the g«i»f Hiat such 
grants would be made only to penoiu who would 
ucH) >Mv emigrate to New France and who woold 
thus help in the upbuilding of the oobny, bat Ae 
Con^ny did not live iq> to tias poBcy. Instead, 
it made lavish donatioiu, some of them contuning 
a hundred aqume mSka or more, to directors and 

fnemb of the Con^HQr in Fnnee who neither came 
to the cdoii^ ^emarives nor sent representatives to 

undertake ^dearaf of t^kfgee^tes. e 
director took ife ei^ Uaad of Orieans; other, 
■ecured geaereus dices of . the best lands on b* h 
shores (rf the St. LaTOoce; but not one .f th. a 
lifted a finger in the way of redeeming th e huge 
concessions hma a state of wilde? ^ t> il 
The tracts woe merely held in the ii >e mxe 
day they would become valuable. >^ fxty 
seigneuries which wer granted b\ le Coi 
during the years from 1632 u, i66;> n ' more ti.^ 
half-dozen grants were inad( to bona h -oloni is. 
At the latter date ti e total area of .eared i^iud 
was scarcely four thou arpenU. 
' An arfnit mm abwA five-fatbs «f as aoc 

fc^al aetioD ol IMS which took the 
coieiiy horn the Company and reconstructed iu 
SOV^mawBt, the aeigneurial system was galvanized 
at once with new energy. The uncleared tracts 
•rhich the^V^. 4 the Compaay had carved out 
4irJong theiniei es were declared ♦o be forfeitt.4 
toiheC mar actual occupam as held to be, 
for the fn- re e e.«^ential of y seigneuriaJ 

iS < •rt was made to obtain 
set and wua cons, erable success, for in the 
yea ifr ^-1667 the populatioi of the colony 
m than doubled. Nothing was left undone 
b the royal authorities in securing ^ traasport- 
iai emigrants. Officials from J h scoured the 
i'lces. offering free passage «iebec and 
tnts of land upon arrive The cam- 
a was successful, and many nhiiJ^tHfa q| 
excellent colonists, most of them hardy p^^tnnti 
from Normandy, Brittany, Perche, and FSean^, 
were sent during these banner years. 
On then- arrival at QMbec the tnocnning settlen 
taken in hand by officials aad woe turned 
wet to the various a&goem who were ready to 
iwovide them with huids and to hdp th«n in 
gettmg wdl started. If the newcomer happened 
to be a man ci aome account at home,;;and particu- 

larly if he brought some money with him, he had 
the opportwiity to become a seigneur himadf. 
He merely applied to the intendant, who was 
quite willing to endow with a se^gnemy any one 
who appeared likely to get it cleared and ready for 
future settlers. In this matter the officials, follow- 
ing out the spirit of the royal orders, were prone 
to err <m the side of libmdity. Too often they 
gave large sdgneurial grants to men who had 
neither the eneigy mat the funds to do what was 
^sxpectdd of a seigneur in the new land. 

As U« extant, the seigneuries varied greatly. 
Same were as large as a European dukedom ; others 
contained only a few thousand arpents. There 
was no fixed rule; within reasonable limits each 
applicant obtained what he asked for, but it 
was generally understood that men who had been 
members of the French noblesse before coming 
to the colony were entitled to larger areas than 
those who were not. In any case little attention 
was paid to exact boundaries, and no surveys 
were made. In making his request for a seigneury 
each applicant set forth what he wanted, and this 
he frequently did in such broad terms as, "all lands 
between such-and-such a river and the seigneury 
of the Sieur de So-and-So." These deaa^tioDi, 

rarely adequate or aocunite, were copied mto flie 
patent, causing often hopeleM ooaloaiQii of bound- 
aries and mmei^Bhoify aqoabUei. It was fortu- 
nate that most seigneun had more land than they 
could use; otlierwise theie would have been as 
many lawsuits as seigneuries. 

The obUgatkms in^NMed upon the seigneurs 
w«e not burdensome. No initial payment was 
asked, and there were no annual rentals to be 
paid to the Crown. .Each seigneur had to render 
tiie ceremony of fealty and homage to the royal 
representative at Quebec. ' Each was liable for 
military service, although that obligation was not 
written into the grant. When a seigneury changed 
owners otherwise than by inheritance in direct 
succession, a payment known as the quint (being, 
as the name connotes, one-fifth of the r^rted 
value) became payable to the royal treasury* 
but this was rarely collected. The most imporw 
tant obligation imposed upon the Canadian seign- 
eur, and one which did not exist at all in Fiance, 
was that of getting settlers established tqion his 
lands. This obligation the authcmties {"fiftffd 
upmi above all othen. iThe Canadian adigDear 
was expected to live on his doinain.^to gather 
dq>endent8 around hnn,'\o build a BdB lor grinding 

their grain, to have them level the forest, clear the 
fields, and make two blades of grass grow where 
one grew before. In other words, the Canadian 
seigneur was to be a royal immigration and land 
agent combined. He was not given his generoiw 
landed patrimony in order that he should sit 
idly by and wait for the unearned increment to 

Many of the seigneurs fulfilled this trust to the 
letter. Robert GiflFard, who received the s^- 
euiy of Beauport just bdow Quebec, was one of 
these; Chailes Le Moync, Sieur de Longueuil. 
waa another. Both brought many settlers from 
Ranee and saw than safdy throu^ the years of 
IH<»ueriDg. Otheis, however, did no more than 
flock to Qoebee when ships were expected, like 
»o many real esUte agents explainmg to the new 
Mrivab what they had to offer in the way of 
lands fertile and weU situated. StUl others did 
iK>t even do so much, but merely put forth one 
excuse after another to explain why their tracU 
remained without settlements at aU. From time 
to time the authorities prodded these seigneurial 
drones and threatened them with the forfeitiu* 
of their estates; but some of the laggards had 
friends among the memben of the Soverejgii 

Counca or poesesKd other means <rf warding off 
•ctkm. so that final decrees of f orefeiture were 
rawJy issued. OccasionaUy there were seigneurs 
whose estates were so favorably situated that they 
could exact a bonus from intending settlers, but 
the Kmg very soon put a stop to this practice. 
By the Arrets of Marly in 1711 he decreed that no 
bonus or prix d^entrie should be exacted by any 
seigneur, but that every settler was to have land 
for tJie asking and at the rate of the annual dues 
customary in the neighborhood. 

At this date there were some ninety seigneuries 
m the colony, about which we have considerable 
mformation owing to a careful surv^ which was 
mad. in 1712 at the King's request. This woik 
was entrusted to an engineer. Ged^on de Catalogne. 
who had come to Quebec a quarter of a century' 
earlier to help with the fortifications. Catalogae 
spent two years in his survey, during which 
time he visited practically all the colonial estatea. 
As a result he prqwred and sent to IVaace a fuH 
report giving in e^dicase the locaticm and extent 

of the seigncury. the name «rf its owner, the nature 
«rf the foil, and its suitability for various uses, 
the ^oducts. the pofnilatioii. the condition of the 
people, the provisioiis made for religious instruc- 

tion, and various other matters. » With tbe nport 
he sent three maps, one of which has disappeared. 
The others show the location of all seipieuries in 
the r^ons of Quebec and Three Biveis. 

From Catalogpe's survey we know that before 
1712 nearly all the territory on both shores of the 
St. Lawrence from bdow Qudbec to above Mont- 
real had been parceled into seigneuries. Likewise 
the islands in the river and the land on both ades 
of the Richelieu in the r^^ toward Lake Cham- 
plain had been aUotted. Many at the adigneuriea 
in this latter belt had been given to officm of the 
Carignan-Sali^res regiment which had come out 
with Tra«gr in 1685 to chastise the Mohawks. 
After the woric of the regiment had been finished. 
Talon suggested to the King that it be disbanded 
in Canada, that the officers be persuaded to accept 
seigneuries, and that the soldiers be given lands 
within the estates of their officers. The Grand 
Monarque not only assented but promised a liberal 
money bonus to all who would remain. Accord- 
ingly, more than twenty officers, chiefly captains 
or lieutenants, and nearly four hundred men, 

*This report was printed for the fint time in the •uthor'e 
Doeumenit relating to Um B titH iaHd Tmm» im Cmaia (IVKtwtot 
Tlw fawmphiii Sodalgr. ISM). 


agreed to stay in New Fraooe under these ar- 

Here was an expoiment in the system of im- 
perial Rome repeated in the New World. When 
the anpire of the Caesars was beginning to give 
way before ^he oncoming Goths and Huns, the 
practice of disbanding the legions on the frontier 
so that they might settle there and form an iron 
ring against the invaders was adopted and served 
its purpose for a time. It was from these prcedia 
militaria that Talon got the idea which he now 
transmitted to the French King with the sugges- 
tion that "the practice of these sagacious and war- 
like Romans might be advantageously followed 
in a land which, bemg so far away from its sover- 
eign, must trust for existence to the strength of its 
own arms. " In keeping with the same precedent. 
Talon located the military seigneuiies in that 
section of the colony where th^ would be most 
useful as a barrier against the enemy; that is to 
say, he placed them in the cokmy's most vuhier- 
able region. This was the area along the Riche- 
lieu from Lake Champlain to its Gonflu<»ice with 
the St. Lawrence at Sold. It was by this route 
that the Mohawks had already come more than 
once on thdr mands of massacre, and it was by 


this portal that the English were likely to come 
if they should ever attempt to overwhehn New 
France by an overland assault. The region of the 
Richelieu was therefore made m strong against 
incursion «s M i iiliiiiHi^g mtmme eould make 

All who took lands in this region* whether 
sdgneiffs or habitants, were to assemble in mmm at 
the Toywl cidl. Thdr uniforms and nmskeli tey 
hept for servH», and nevor duriog subsequent 
years was such a call without reqMinse. Thesemil- 
itaiy settlers and th«r sons after them were only 
too ready to rally around the royal orifUmme at any 
oppcnrtunity. It was from the armed seigneuries 
of the Bichdieu that Hertel de Bouville, St. Ours, 
and others quietly slipped forth and leaped with 
all the advantage of surprise upon the lonely ham- 
kts of outlying Massachusetts or New York. How 
the English feared these gentUshommes let their 
own records tell, for there these French colonials 
put many a streak of blood and fire. 

But not all of the seigneuries were settled in this 
way, and it was well for the best interests of the 
colony that they were not. Too often the good 
soldier made only an indifferent yeoman. First in 
war, he was last in peace. The task of hammer- 

mg spears into ploui^isIiaKs and swordi into 
pnining-hooks was not altogether to his likiog. 
Most of the officers gradually grew t»^ J their 
Tdle as gentlemen of the wilderness, and . entu- 
ally sold <» mortgaged their seigneuries and made 
thdr way bade to Prance. Many of the soldiers 
succumbed to the lure of the western fur traffic 
and became eoureur»-de'bois. But many others 
stuck valiant^ to the soil, and today their de- 
scoidants by the thousand possess this fertile 

What were the obligations of the settler who 
todc a grant of land within a seigneury? On the 
whole they were neither numerous nor burden- 
some, and in no sense were they comparable 
with those laid upon the hapless peasantry in 
France during the days before the great Revolu- 
tion. Every habitant had a written title-deed 
from his seigneur and the terms of this deed were 
explicit. The seigneiu- could exact nothing that 
was not stipulated therein. These titte^ieeds 
were made by the notaries, of whom there seem to 
have been plenty in New France; the census of 
1681 listed no fewer than twenty-foor d tto 
in a population whidi had not yet itmAted tea 
thousand. When the deed had been signed, the 

notary gave one copy to each of the parties; the 
original he kept himself. These scribes were men 
of limited education and did not always do their 
work with proper care, but on the whole they ren- 
dered useful service. 

The deed first set forth the situation and ana 
of the habitant's farm. The ordinaiy extent 
was from one hundred to four hundied arpenti, 
usuaUy in the shape of a paraUek«ram with a 
narrow frontage on the river, and actcDding inland 
to a much greater distance. Every one wanted 
to be near the main road whidi ima akng the 
shore; it was only altar all this land had ieen takm 
up that the incoming setOers woe willing to have 
farms in the "second ran^" on the uphnds away 
from the stream./ At any rate, the haUtant took 
hiF knd subject to yeariy paymmts known as the 
cent A raae$. The amount was small, a few sous 
together with a stated donation in grain or poultry 
to be ddivered each autunm. Reckoned in terms 
of present-day roitals, the cens et rentes amounted 
to half a doaen chickens or a bu.-hel of grain for 
each fifty or sixty acres of land. Yet this was the 
only payment which the habitants of New France 
regularly made in return for their lands. Each 
autumn at Michaelmas they gathered at the 


seigneur's lioiise, thev canyallt fining liis yard. 

One by OM tliey handed <nr» tlidr quote <rf gnun 
or pouHiy and counted out their emt in copper 
cobg. The oocaoon became a neighborhood 
festival to whidi the women came with the men. 
There was a general retailing of local gossip and 
a squaring-up of accounts among the neighbors 

But while this was the only regular payment 
made by the habitant, it was not the only obli- 
gation imposed upon him. In New Prance the 
seigneur had the exclusive right of grinding all 
grain, and the habitants were bound by their 
title-deeds to bring their grist to his mill and to 
pay the legal toll for milling. This banaliiS, as it 
was called, did not bear heavily upon the pec^; 
most of the complaints concerning it came rather 
from the seigneurs who claimed that the kgal toll, 
which amounted to one-fourteenth of the grain.' 
did not suffice to pay expenses. Some of the 
seigneurs did not build mills at aU, but the authori- 
ties eventually moved them to aeOaa by ordermg 
that those who did not provide miQs at once would 
not be allowed to «i£orce the obl^gaticm (tf tdQ at 
any future date. Mostof the s^gneuiialmiBs were 
crude, wmd-driven affairs which made poor fionr 

and often kept the habitants waiting for days to 
get it. UsuaUy built in tower-like fashion, they 
were loopholed m order to afford places of lefuge 
and defense against Indian attack. 

Another seigneurial obligation was that <rf giving 
to the seigneur certain days of eonie, or fenced 
labor, in each year. In Prance this was a grievous 
burden; peasants were taken from their own 
hmds at inconvenient seasons and f oiced to work 
for weeks on the seigneur's domain. But there 
was nothmg of this sort in Canada. The amount 

I>n»ited to MK day^ at the most in any 
year, of which only two days could be adced 
for at seed-time and two days at harvest. The 
seigneur, for his part, did not usuaUy exact even 
this amount, because the neighborhood custom 
requhed that he should furnish both food and 
tools to those whom he called upon to work for 

Besides, there were various details of a minor 
sort mcidental to the seigneurial system. If the 
habitant caught fish in the river, one fish in every 
eleven belonged to the seigneur. But seldom was 
any attention paid to this stipulation. The 
seigneur was entitled to take firewood and build- 
ing materials from the lands of his habitants if he 

I, but he rar^ Availed liimsdf of this right. 
On the monuog oi every May Day the habitants 
were under strict injunction to plant a Maypole 
before the seigneur's house, and this they never 
failed to do, because the seigneur in return was 
expected to dispense hospitality to all who came. 
Bright and eariy in the morning the whole com- 
munity appeared and greeted the seigneur with a 
salvo of blank musketry. With them they carried 
a tall fir-tree, pulled bare to within a few feet of 
the top where a tuft of green remained. Having 
planted this Maypole in the ground, they joined 
in dancing and a feu de jaie in the seigneur's 
honor, and then adjourned for cakes and wine at 
his table. There is no doubt that such good 
things disappeared with celerity before appetitea 
whetted by an hour's exercise in the dear s^mg 
air. After drinking to the sdgneur's health and 
to the health of aU his kin, the meny coo^my 
returned to their homes, leaving behmd than the 
pole as a souvenh- of their homage. That the 
seigneur was m<»e than a mere huHlhmi such an 
oocadon testified. 

The S(4g!^un tsi New France had the right to 
hdd courts for the settlement of disputes among 
thdr tenantry, but they fare^ availed themselves 


of this privilege because, owing to the spaneneas 
of the population in most of the seigneurici, the 
fines and fees did not produce enough income to 
nuilEe such a procedure worth while. In a few 
populous districts there wcfe seigneurial eoorts 
with regular judges who held sesnons once or 
twice each week. In some others the seigneur 
himself sat in judgmoit bdiind the living-room 
table hi his own hinne and meted oat justice alter 
his own fashion. The Custom of Paris was 
tkm common kw of the Umd. and afl were sup- 
posed to know its piovisioos, tho^ lew save 
tt ioyal judges had any such knowledge. When 
the srlgnfur himself heard the suitors, his decision 
was not always in keeping with the law but it 
usually satisfied the disputants, so that appeals 
to the royal courts were not common. These 
latter tribunals, each with a judge of its own, sat 
at Quebec, Three Rivers, and Montreal. Their 
procedure, like that of the seigneurial courts, 
was simple, free from chicane, and inexpensive. 
A lawsuit in New France did not bring ruinous 
costs. "I will not say, " remarks the facetious La 
Hontan, "that the Goddess Justice is more 
chaste here than in France, but at any rale, if A» 
is sold, she is sold more cheaply. In Canada we 

do not pin tluomgii tbe dittdiei of advoestei, 
tbe telont of aUomcyi, utd the cUws of derka. 

These ▼mis do not aiyvtinfcit the land. Every 
one here plwds his own cause. Our Themis is 
I»Oinpt. and she does not bristle with fees, costs, 
and charges." 

Throughout the FrtSDch period there was no 
oompiaint kom the habitants concerning the 
burdens of the seigneurial tenure. Here and 
there disputes arose as to the exact scope and 
nature of various obligations, but these the intend- 
ant adjusted with a firm hand and an eye to the 
general interest. On the whole, the system rend- 
ered a highly ^ se' il service, by bringing the entirt 
rural population ; close and neighborly con. 
tact, by affordiuK ii-m foundation for fhe colony's 
social structure, and by contrio^fia^^ gieat^y 
to the defensive unity of New France./. So kmg 
as the land was weak and depended for its very 
existence upon the s ; lidarity <^ its peo|>le,\o limg 
as the intendant was there to gnide the system wfth 
a pnetorian hand and to prevent dbases»^so kmg 
as strength was n»ie to be demd than opdowe, 
the seigneorial ^rrtem served New fhmoe brtter 
than any other sdieme of l«i*«»^JiHiy would 
have dcHie. U was only when the aAni^i,^^ 


of the country came into new and alien hands 
that Canadian seigneurialism became a barrier to 
economic progress and an obsolete system which 
had to be abolished. 

; P 

J ( 



Thb center and soul of the economic system in 
New France was the traffic in furs. Even before 
the colony contained more than a handful of 
settlers, the profit-making possibilities of this 
trade were recognized. It grew rapidly even in the 
early days, and for more than a hundred and 
fifty years furnished New France with its sinews 
of war and peace. Beginnmg on the St. Lawrence, 
this trade moved westward along the Great Lakes, 
until toward the end of the seventeenth century 
it passed to the headwaters of the Mississippi. 
During the two administrations of Frcmtenac the 
fur traffic grew to large proportions, nor did it 
show much sign of shrinking for a goumtkn 
thereafter. With the ebb-tide of Frendi militaiy 
power, however, the trader's hold on these wwtets 
lands began to rdax, and before the final overthroir 
of N«w France it had becxaae grtaltfy weakened. 


In establishing commercial relations witk the 
Indians, the French voyageur on the St. Lawr^ 
had several marked advantages <ym Ma Ri ^iiph 
and Dutch neighbors By temperament he was 
better adapted than they to be a pioneer of tndt. 
No race was more supple ihan his own m conionn. 
ing its ways to the varied damnds ci ^kee and 
time. When he was among the Indians, the 
Frenchman tried to act like one of them, and he 
soon developed in aU the arts of forest Ufe a ddU 
which rivaled that of the Indian himself. The 
fascination erf We in the imtamed wilderness with 
its hair-raising eipenenoes, its romance, iu free 
abandon, af^ealed more strongly to the French 
temperament than to that of any other European 
race. NmWsHowmibmmdireCtmnthum. And the 
Fwmdi cobttrt of the seventeenth century had 
the qualities irf personal courage and hardihood 
»Wch cmabled him to enjoy this life to the 

Then there was the Jesuit missionary. He 
was the first to visit the Indians in their own 
abodes, the first to make his home among them, 
the first to master their language and to under- 
stand their habits of mind. This sympathetic 
comprehensiou gave the Jesuit a great ii 

in tin couscai of tlie savages, mile first of 
aM ft soldier of tbe Oess, tlie misrioiiary never 
isifott howev&y tbat lie was also a sentinel doing 
oncost duty for his own race. Apostle he was, 
but patriol too. Besides, it was to the spiritual 
inteiesi of the missionary to keep his flock in 
contact with the French alone; for if they became 
acquainted with the English they would soon come 
under the smirch of heresy. To prevent the In- 
dians from engaging in any commercial deali^ 
with Dutch or English heretics meant encouraging 
them to trade exclusively with the French. Jm 
this way the Jesuit became one of the most fMlous 
of helpers in carrying out the French program 
for diverting to Montreal the eatae fur trade of. 
the western regions. He ««s Uras not 01^ a pio- 
ueer of the faith but at the saist « rittlflnilw 
ol ecHumercial empire. It is true, ojwlit, tlMit thfa 
service to the trading ^IcresU of the ccOoay wm 
but ill-reqiAad hy ^ wlam It Meflted mil. 
The trader too oH^ r^d the missionary hi 
piitty po« Goki by brlngteg tbe curse of the liquor 
trafic to Ml ^em, md by giving denial by shame 
Im eenduct to all the good futher's moral teach- 
ings. tn spite of such hievjtabls dm¥/htu kn. iUt> 
Jerait rendered a great service to thi* iemiklg 


interests of New France, far greater indeed Hbrnm 
he ever claimed or received credit for. 

In the struggle for the caaAid of the fur traie 
geographical advantages h^ wiA ike Fteadk. 
They had two e3EceUeBt roolw hmm Montreid 
^Mctly nto iht rk^eat imver iMdb «f ike oonti- 
neit. "One <rf Aew, by way of Hb 9^wa «ad 
Ma*t«wa Rvent, had the dna^kaA of an ove^ 
land y o rt i y, bvt on the oUier kaad the wkoie 
■•ttte wao Tfi M on d bl y sale from ffiterraptioii by 
inqpiols or Mm^kk attadc. vfhe route, by 
wi^ of ^ upiMT St. LawreBoe and the lakes, 
passed Ca^anqm, Niagara, Detroit on the 
way to Mif ^ limad ri a ac cm- to Green Bay. This 
WM an all-waAer route, save for the short detour 
around the faHs at Niagara, but it had the dis- 
advantage of parsing, for a long stretch, within 
easy reach of Iroquois interference. The French 
soon realized, however, that this lake route was the 
main artery of the colony's fur trade and must 
be kept open at any cost. They accordingly 
entrenched themselves at all the s'rategic points 
along the route. Fort Frontenac at Catara^* 
was built m 1674; the f<»ti6ed post at DeMt, 
in 1686; the fort at Niagara, in 1678; and the 
e stab lis hm ents at Ike Saidt Ste. Marie mid tA 


MichilinwckinM liad b«« eoiirtnicted even 

But these places omfy maiked the nun channels 
tfawigh which the tmde passed. The real sources 
of ^ far supply were in the great regions now 
covimd by the states of Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, 
and Minnesota. As it became increasingly neces- 
sary that the IWh BhoM gain a firm footing 
m time territories as well, they proceeded to 
•itahiiA their outposts without delay. The post 
«IB^ des Puants (Green Bay) was established 
kfere 1685; then in rapid succession came trading 
Jwiades in the very heart of the beaver lands, 
Fort St. Antoine, Fort St. Nicholas, Fort St 
Croix. Fort Perrot. Fort St. Louis, and several 
others. No one can study the map of this westeiB 
country as it was in 1700 without realizing whtA a 
strangle-hold the French had achieved upon aO 
the vital arteries of its trade. 

The English had no such |eQ|;raphiGaI advan^ 
tages as the Preach, nor did th^ adequately 
appreciate the imp o rt an ce erf beu« fii^ the 
ground. With the excqptiao of the Hudson aftw 
16W, they rtw i ed m peat waterway ka^ 
ta the i^erior. And Ae Hudson with its tiflm- 
tMiea tapped the tenfteries irf the Iro^ 


which were doiuded of beaver at an early date. 
These Iroquois might have rendered great service 
to the English at Albany by acting as middlonen 
in gathering the furs from the West. They tried 
hard, indeed, to assume this rftle, but, as they were 
practically always at enmity with the western 
tribes, tbqr mevet succeeded in turning this poasi- 
Inlity to their full emcdument. 

In only one respect were the French at a serious 
disadvantage. They could not compete with the 
English in the matter of prices. The English 
trader could give the Indian for his furs two or 
three times as much merchandise as the French 
could oflFer him. To account for this commercial 
discrepancy there were several reasons. The cost 
of transportation to and from France was high — 
approximately twice that of freighting from 
London to Boston or New York. Navigation 
on the St. Lawrence was dangerous in those days 
before buoys and beacons came to mark the 
shoal waters, and the risk of capture at sea during 
the incessant waza with England was considerable. 
The staples most used in the Indian tnuie — 
utensils, muskets, blankets, and strouds (a ctmne 
woolen doth made into shirts) — could be boy|^ 
more cheaply in En^^and than in Fhmce. Rum 

could be obtained from the British West Indies 
more cheaply than brandy from across the ocean 
Moreover, there were duties on furs shipped 
from Quebec and on aU goods which came into 
tibat post And. finally, a paternal government in 
New France set the scale of prices in such a way 
•a to ensure the merchants a large profit. It is 
clear, then, that in fair and open competition 
for the Indian trade the French would not have 
survived a single season.' Their only hope was 
to keep the English away from the Indians al- 
together, and particularly from the Indians of tlie 
fur-bearing regions. This was no easy taak. but 
in general they managed to do it for nettly « 

The most active and at the same time the most 
picturesque figure in the fur-trading systm ol 
New France was the coureur-de-boU, Without 
hmi the trade could nether have been begun nor 

of New York ( ix.. 408-409) the following oomJ^^STi 

1 musket 2 bcava. thmymt 

8 pounds of powd« 1 bwvw 4 « 

O praiad tofhid 1 " • « 

^Akta 1 - 2 

# pwifa atockiaga i " g 


continued successfully. Usually a man of good 
birth, of some miUtaiy training, and of more 
less education, he was a rover the forest by 
choioe and not as an outcast from civilijsation. 
Young men came from France to serve as officers 
with the odonial garrison, to hcAd minor civil 
posts, to become seigneurial landholders, or merely 
to seek adventure. Very few came out with the 
fixed intention of engaging in the forest trade; but 
hundreds fell victims to its magnetism after they 
had arrived in New France. The young officer who 
grew tired of garrison duty, the young seigneur 
who found yeomanry tedious, the young habitant 
who disliked the daily toil of the farm — young men 
of all social ranks, in fact, succumbed to this lure 
of the wilderness. "I cannot tell you," wrote 
one governor, "how attractive this life is to all 
our youth. It consists in doing nothing, caring 
nothing, following every inclination, and getting 
out of the way of all restraint." In any case the 
ranks of the voyageurs included those who had 
the best and most virile blood in the colony. 

Just how many Frenchmen, young and old, were 
eijgaged in the lawless and fascinating life of the 
forest trader when the fur traffic was at its height 
cannot be stated wiih einctness. But the nundber 

miut have been huge. The intendant Duches- 
neau, in 1080, eftimated that more than eight 
hundred men, out of a colonial population number- 
ing less than ten thousand, were off in the woods. 
"There is not a family of any account," he wrote 
to the King, "but has sons, brothers, uncles, and 
nephews among these coureurs-de-bois.*' This 
may be an exaggeration, but from references 
contained in the dispatches of various royal officials 
one may fairly conclude that Duchesneau's esti- 
mate of the number of traders was not far wide 
ofthemark. And there is other evidence ai to the 
size of this exodus to the woods. Nicholas Petiot, 
when he left Montreal for Gieoi Bi^ in 1088, 
took with him one hundred and lorty-threJ 
voyageurs.' La Hontaa found "thirty or forty 
eoureurs-de-hois at every post in the IDmois 

AmoQg the leaden <rf ^e eoureurg-de-bois 
several names stand out prominoitly. Francois 
Dauphme de la P<»tt, Nicholas Perrot, and Henri 
de Tontjy, the Meutoiants <rf La Salle, Alphonse de 
Tonty, AidoSm 4b U liothe-Cadillac, Greysolon 
Du Lhut and his brother Greysolon de la Tourette, 

» DoeumenU lUUaive to the Cohnial Bktm^^Hm TmK ii, iNl 
■F<9«^ («d. Thwsites), 17a. 

Pierre Esprit Radisson and M^ard Chouart de 
Groseiliiers, Olivier Morel de la Duraatiiye, Je«i- 
Paul Le Gardeu- de Repentigi^, Lixda de Is 
Porte de Louvigny, Louu and Judienau JoUet, 
Pierre Le Sueur, Bouchor de la Perri^ Jean 
Pierre Jobin, Denu Maai^, Nicholas d'Ailleboiut 
de Mantet, FraaQou Perthius, Etienne Bnil^ 
Charles Judiereau de St. Denis» Pierre Moreau 
dit La Tcrapine, Jean Nicolet— these are only the 
few who connected themselves with some striking 
event which has transmitted their names to 
posterity. Many of th^ have Irft their imprint 
upon the geografdiical nomendature of the Middle 
West. Hundreds of others, the rank and file of 
this picturesque array, gained no place upon the 
written records, since they took part in no striking 
achievement worthy of mention in the dispatches 
and memoirs of their day. The coureur-de-bois 
was rarely a chronicler. If the Jesuits did not deign 
to pillory him in their RSlcUions, or if the royal offi- 
cials did not singk him out for praise in the memo- 
rials which they sent home to France each year, 
the coureur-de-bois might spend his whole active 
life m the forest without transmitting his name or 
fame to a future generatiwn. And that is what 
most of them did. A few of the voyageurs found 

J ^ 



tbat one tiq> to the wilds wai enough and never 
took to tlie trade permanently. But the great 
majority, oooe the vinia of the free life had entered 
their veins, could not forsake the wild woods to 
the end of their days. The dangers of the life 
were great, and the mortality among the traders 
was high. Coureurs de risques they ought to 
have been called, as La Hontan remarks. But 
taken as a whole they were a vigorous, adventur- 
ous, strong-limbed set of men. It was a genume 
compliment that they paid to the wilderness 
when they chose to spend year after year in its 

In their methods of trading the cwLreun-de-hoit 
were unlike anything that the worid had mr 
known before. The Hanseatie merchasts of 
earlier fur-trading days in N<wthem Europe had 
established theii> forts (m> faetories at Novgorod, 
at Bergra, and dsewhere, great enitvp&U stored 
witii merchandise lor the neighboring territories. 
The traders lived within, and the natives came to 
the posts to barter their furs or other raw msteriafa. 
The merchants of the East India Company had 
estaWished thdr posts in the Qri^t and traded 
with the natives on the same basis. But the 
Norman voyageurs <rf the New World did things 

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quite diff^r^tly. They established fortified posts 
throughout the r^ons west of the Lakes, it is 
true, but they did not make them storehouses, 
nor did they bring to them any considerable 
stock of merchandise. The posts were for use 
as the headquarters of the coureurs-de-bois, and 
usually sheltered a smaU garrison of soldiers during 
the winter months ; they likewise served as places of 
defense in the event of attack and of rendezvous 
when a trading expedition to Montreal was being 
organized. It was not the policy of the French 
authorities, nor was it the plan of the coureurs-de- 
boisy that any considerable amount of trading 
should take place at these western stockades. 
They were only the outposts intended to keep the 
trade running in its proper channels. In a word, 
it was the aim of the French to bring the trade to 
the colony, not to send the colony overland to 
the savages. That is the wsy Fatbor ffarhril 
phrased it, and he was quite right.' 

Every spring, accordingly, if the great tndc 
routes to Montreal w&e reas<mably free frwn 
danger of an overwhelming Iroquois attadc, the 
counurs-de-bois roimded up the western Indians 

> Carheil to Chunpigny (August SO. 1702). in B. G. Thwftite% 
Jmrit JWolMM and AUM DanmMU, bn^ gl9. 


with their stocks of furs from the winter's hunt. 
Then, proceeding to the grand rendezvous at 
Michilimackinac or Greoi Bay, the canoes were 
joined into one great flotilla, and the whole array 
set oS down the lakes or by way of «^thc Ottawa 
to Montreal. This annual fur flotilla often 
numbered hundreds of canoes, the cottr«ttft-dc- 
bois acting as pilots, assisting the Indians to ward 
oflP attacks, and adding their European intelligence 
to the red man*s native cunning.* About mid- 
summer, having covered the thousand miles of 
water, the canoes drew within hail of the settle- 
ment of Montreal. Above the Lachine Rapids 
the population came forth to meet it with a noisy 
welcome. Enterprising cabareHerSt in defiance 
of the royal decrees, had usually set up their 
booths along the diores for the sale of brandy, 
and thoe was some brisk trading as well as a 
considerable dii^day of aboriginal boisteioaaiess 
even before the canoes reached Montreal. 

Once at the settlements the Indians set up their 
tepees, bdled thdr kettles, and unpacked thdr 
bundles of pdtiy. A day was then givoi over to ft 

» The flotilla of 169S connsted of more than 400 canoea. with »bout 
COO egtmurt-ds-boii, 1200 Indiana, and furs to the value of over 


great coimdl which the governor of the colony, 
in scarlet doak and plumed hat, often came from 
Quebec to attend. There were the usual pledges 
of friendship; the peace-pipe went its round, and 
the song of the calumet was sung. Then the 
trading really began. The merchants of Montreal 
had their little shops along the shore where they 
spread out for display the merchandise brought 
by the spring ships from France. There were 
muskets, powder, and lead, blankets in all colors, 
coarse cloth, knives, hatchets, kettles, awls, 
needles, and other staples of the trade. But the 
Indian had a weakness for trinkets of every sort, 
so that cheap and gaudy necklaces, bnu^ets, 
tin looking-glasses, little bells, combs, vermilion, 
and a hundred other things of the sort were ihae 
to tempt him. And last, but not least in its 
purchasmg power, was brandy. Many hogsheads 
of it were disposed of at every annual fair, and 
while it lasted the Indians turned bedlam loose in 
the town. The fair was Montreal's gala event 
in every year, for its success meant everything to 
local prosperity. Indeed, in the few years when, 
owing to the Iroquois dangers, the flotilla failed 
to arrive, the whde settlement was on the verge 
of bankruptcy. 


What the Indian got for hia furs at Montreal 

varied from time to time, depending for the moat 
part upon the stete of the fur maricet in France. 
And this, again, hinged to some extent upon the 
course of fashions there. On one occagicm the 
fashion of wearing low-crowned hats cut the vahie 
of beaver skins in two. Beaver was the fur of 
furs, and the mainstay of the trade. Whether 
for warmth, durability, or attractiveness in ap- 
pearance, there was none other to equal it. Not 
all beaver skins were valued alike, however. 
Those taken from animals killed during the winter 
were preierred to those taken at other seasons, 
while new skins did not bring as high a price as 
those which the Indian had worn for a time and 
had thus made soft. The trade, in fact, developed 
a classification of beaver skins into soft and 
half-soft, green and haK-green, wet and dry, and 
so on. Skins of good quality brou^t at Montreal 
from two to four livres per pound, and they aver- 
aged a little more than two pounds each. Hie 
normal cargo of a large canoe was forty padcs ol 
skins, each pack wdghing about fifty pounds. 
Translated into the currency of today a beaver 
pelt of fair quality was worth about a ddlar. When 
we read in the <^cial dispatdies that a halt- 


milUon livret* worth of skins changed owne» 
at the Montreal fair, this statement means that at 
least a hundred thousand animals must have been 
alau^tered to furnish a huge flotilla with its 

The furs of other animals, otter, marten, and 
mink, were also in demand but brought smaller 
prices. Moose hides sold well, and so did bear 
skins. Some buffalo hides were brought to 
Montreal, but in proportion to their value they 
were bulky and took up so much room in the 
canoes that the Indians did not care to bring them. 
The heyday of the buffalo trade came later, with 
the development of overland transportation. At 
any rate the dependence of New France upon 
these furs was complete. "I would have you 
know," asserts one chronicler, "that Canada 
subsists only upon the trade of these skins and 
f lu-s, three-fourths of which come from the people 
who live around the Great Lakes." The prosper- 
ity of the French colony hinged wholly up<m two 
things: whether the routes from the West were 
open, and Whether the market fw furs m France 
was holdini; up. Upon the fonner depended the 
quantity of furs brought to M<mtreal; upon the 
latter, the amount of pn^t whidi the eoitmir*- 


de4Hn9 and the mercliaiits of the oolcniy would 

For ten days or a fortnight the great fair at 
Montreal c(mtinued. A picturesque bazaar it 
must have be^ this meeting of the two ends 
of civilization, for trade has been, in all ages, a 
mighty magnet to draw the ends of the earth 
together. When all the furs had been sdd, the 
coureurs-de-boia took some goods ahmg with 
them to be used partly in trade on their own ac- 
count at the western posts and partly as presents 
from the King to the western chieftains. There 
is reason to suspect, however, that much of 
what the royal bounty provided for this latter 
purpose was diverted to private use. There were 
annual fairs at Three Rivers ')r the Indians of 
the St. Maurice region; at Sorel, for those of the 
Richelieu; and at Quebec and at Tadoussac, for 
the redskins of the Lower St. Lawrence. But 
Montreal, owing to its situation at the confluence 
of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa trade routes, 
was by far the greatest fur mart of all. 

It has been mentioned that the colonial autluxi- 
ties tried to discourage trading at the western posts. 
Their aim was to bring the Indian with his fura 
to the colonial settlement. But this pdicy oouU 


not be fully carried out. Deq>ite the moft ngtd 
prohibitions and the seveivst penalties, scmie ci 
the eoureur8'4e-bou i^. ould take goods and brandy 
to sell in the wilderness. Finding that this 
practice could not be exterminated, the authorities 
decided to permit a limited amount ctf forest 
trading iet strict regulation, and to this end 
the K' o authcxrized the granting of tw^ty-five 
licoises each year. These Ikoises permitted a 
trader to take three canoes with as much mer- 
chandise as they i^ .'ild hold. As a rule the 
licoises were not issued directly to the traders 
themselves, but were given to the religious in- 
stitutions or to dependent widows of former royal 
officers. These in turn sold them to the traders, 
sometimes for a thousand livres or more. The 
system of granting twenty-five annual . . did 
not of itself throw the door wide open ae at 

the western establishments. But as tiL::e went on 
the plan was much abused by the granting of private 
licenses to the friends of the officials at Quebec, and 
** God knows how many of these were issued, ** as one 
writer of the time puts it. Traders often went, 
moreover, without any license at all, and especially 
in the matter of carrying brandy into the forest 
they frequ^tly set the official orders at defiance. 


This brandy question was> in ftict, the great 
trouUer in Israel It bulks large in every chroni- 
cle, every memoir, every RilaHov and in almost 
every ofiSdal dispatch during a period of mc«e than 
fifty yean. It worried the King himsdf; it set 
the officers of the Church and State against each 
other; and it provided more friction throughout 
the western domini<His of France than all other 
issues put togeth^. 

As to the ethics of the liquor traffic in New 
France, there was never any serious disagreement. 
Even the secula ' authorities readily admitted 
that brandy did tiie Indians no good, and that 
it would be better to sell them blankets and 
kettles. But that was not the point. The traders 
believed that, if the western Indians could not 
secure brandy from the French, they would get 
rum from the English. The Indian would be no 
better o£f in that case, and the French would lose 
their hold on him into the bargain. Time and 
again they reiterated the argument that the 
prohibition of the brandy trade would make an 
end to trade, to French influence, and even to the 
missionary's own labors. For if the Indian went 
to the English for rum, he would get into toudi 
with heresy as well; he would have Protestant 


missionariet come to Ida village, and tlie day of 
Jesuit propaganda would be at an end. 

This, throughout the whole trading period, was 
the stock argument of publicans and sinners. 
The Jesuit missionaries combated it with all their 
power; yet they never fully convinced either the 
colonial or the home authorities. Louis XIV, 
urged by his confessor to take <»ie stand and by his 
ministm to take the other, was sorely puzded. 
He wanted to do his duty as a Most Christian 
£mg, yet he did not want to have on his hands a 
bankrupt colony. Bishop Laval pleaded with 
Colbert that brandy would spell the ruin of all 
religion in the new world, but the subtle minister 
calmly retorted that the eau-de-vie had not yet over- 
come the ancient church in older lands. To set 
his conscience right, the King referred the whole 
question to the savants of the Sorbonne, and they, 
like good churchmen, promptly gave their opinion 
that to sell intoxicants to the heathen was a 
heinous sin. But that counsel afforded the Grand 
Monarch scant guidance, for it was not the relative 
sinfulness of the brandy trade that perplexed 
him. The practical e]q>ediency of issuing a de- 
cree of prohibition was what lay upon his mind. 
On that point Colbert gave him sensible advice 


namely, that a question of practical policy could be 
better settled by the colonists themselves than 
by cloistered scholars. Guide J by this sugges- 
tion, the King asked for a limited plebiadte; the 
governor of New France was requested to call 
together **the leading inhabitants ci the ooiuny" 
and to obtain from each one his t^nnion in writing. 
Here was an inkling of colonial self-goyernment, 
and it is unfortunate that the King did not resort 
more often to the same method of solving the 
ookmy's i»obleni8. 

On October 26, 1678, Frontenae gathered the 
''leading inhabitants" in the Ch&teau at Quebec. 
Apart from the officials and military officers on 
the <me hand and the clergy on the other, most of 
the solid men of New France were there. One 
after another their views were called for and writ' 
ten down. Most of those present expressed he 
opinion that the evils of the traffic had '/een 
exaggerated, and that if the French should pro- 
hibit the sale of brandy to the savages they would 
soon lose their hold upon the western trade. There 
were some dissenters, among them a few who urged 
a more rigid regulation of the traffic. One hard- 
headed seigneur, the Sieur Dombourg, raised 
the query whether the coloi^ was really so dqim- 


dent for its existence upon the fur trade as the otlMfi 
had assumed to be the case. If there were less 
attention to trade, he urged, there would be more 
heed paid to agriculture, and in the long run it 
woukl be better for the ccAooy to ship wheat to 
VnanK instead of furs. "Let the western trade 
go to the English in exchange for their rum; it 
would ndth^ oidure long nor profit them much." 
This was sound sense, but it did not cany graat 
we^t with Dombouig's hearers. 

The written testimony was put together and. 
with commeiits by the govemm', was sent to 
Fhmoe for the informatkm fd the King and his 
ministers. Apparently it had some efiPect, for, 
without altogether prohibiting the use of brandy 
in the western trade, a royal decree of 1679 forbade 
the eoureurs'de-bois to carry it with them on their 
trips up the lakes. The issue of this decree, how- 
ever, made no perceptible change in the situation, 
and brandy was taken to the western posts as 
before. So far as one can determine from the 
actual figures of the trade, however, the quantity 
of intoxicants used by the French in the Indian 
trade has been greatly exaggerated by the mis- 
sionaries. Not more than fifty barrels (barriqites) 
ever went to the western regions in the course of a 


yew. A barrel held about two hundred and fifty 
IMiitiy ao that the total would be less than one pmt 
per capita for the adult Indiana within the Fimeh 
sphere of influence. That waa a far amaUtt per 
aq>ita onuumption than Frenchmen gussled in 
a ain^ day at a Breton fair, aa La Salle once 
pcnnted out. Thetrouble was> how . . \ that thmi- 
aandt d Indiana got no brandy at fhOe a rela- 
tively small number obtained too much of it "What 
they got, moreover, was poor stuff, most of it, and 
well diluted with water. The Indian drank to get 
drunk, and when brandy constituted the other 
end of the bargain he would give for it the very 
furs off his back. 

But if the Jesuits exaggerated the amount of 
brandy used in the ^xade, they did not exaggerate 
its demoralizing e^ : upon both the Indian and 
the trader. Th-.y believed that brandy would 
wrecV the Iii'^'ian's body and ruin his soul. They 
were a jhti it did both. It made of every western 
post, in the words of Father Carheil, a den of 
"brutality and violence, of injustice and impiety, 
of lewd and shameless conduct, of contempt and 
insults.*' No sinister motives need be sought to 
explain the bitterness with which the blackrobes 
cried out against the iniquities of » systan which 


swindled the redskin out of his furs and debauched 
him into the bargain. Had the Jesuits done 
otherwise than fight it from first to last they would 
have been false to the traditions of their Church 
and their Order. They were, when all is said and 
done, the truest friends that the North American 
Indian has ever had. 

The effects of the fur trade upon both Indians 
and French were far-reaching. The trade changed 
the red man's order of life, took him in a single 
geaeration from the stone to the iron age, de- 
molislud his old notbns of the world, carried him 
on long joum^, and made him a different man. 
F^ch brandy and English rum sapped his stamina, 
and the grand UJbertinage of the traders calloused 
whatever moral soise he had. His folklore, his 
reb'gion, and his institutions made no progress 
after the trad» had once altered his territories. 

On the French the effects of tribal commmse 
were not so disastrous, though pernicious enough. 
The trade drew off into the wilderness the vigorous 
blood of the colony. It cast its spell over New 
France from Lachine to the Saguenay. Men left 
their farms, their wives, and their families, they 
mortgaged their property, and they borrowed from 
their friends in order to join the ai^imal h^pra 


to the West. Yet very few of these traders accu> 
mulated fortunes. It was not the trader but the 
merchant at Montreal or Quebec who got the 
lion's share of the profit and took none of the risks. 
Many of the coureurs-de-bois entered the trade 
with ample funds and emerged in poverty. Nicholas 
Ferrot and Greysolon Du Lhut were coiispknioiis 
examples. It was a highly speculative game. At 
times large profits came easily and wefe spent 
recklessly. The trade encouraged prafl^gaqr, 
bravado, and garidmess; it deadoied tlie mmal 
soise of the colony, and even schooled men in 
tiickeiy and peculation. It was a oomipting 
influence in the official life of New Vmux, and 
evoi govenuaa ccnild not ke^ from sdlling tibdr 
hands in it. But most unfortunate of all, the 
colony was impdfed to put its economic energies 
into what was at best an ephemeral and transitory 
source <^ national wealth and to neglect the solid 
foundati<»is of agriculture and industry which in 
the long run would have profited its people much 



It was the royal desire tibat New France should 
some day become a powerful and prosperous 
agricultural colony, providing the motherland 
with an acceptable addition to its food supply. 
To this end large tracts ot land were granted 
upon most lib^al terms to incoming settlers, 
and every effort was made to get these acres 
cultivated. Encouragement and coercion were 
alike given a trial. Settlers who did well were 
given official recognition, sometimes even to the 
extent of rank in the fuMeue, On the othor 
hand those who 1^ their lands undeered woe 
rq>eatedly threatened with the revocation of 
their land-titles, and in some cases their hold- 
ings were actually taken away. From the 
days of the earliest settlement down to the eve 
of the English conquest, the officials of both 
the Church and the State never ceased to use 



their best endeav<Mr8 in the interests of ^^l^^ipm* 

Yet with all this official interest and encourage- 
ment agricultural developm^t was slow. Much 
of the land on both the north and the south 
shores of the St. Lawraioe was heavily timbeied, 
and the work of clearing proved tedk>us. It was 
estimated that an industrious settler, working 
by himsdl , could dear not msae than qds super- 
ficial arpeni in a whole season. So dowly did the 
work make progress, in fact, that in 1712, after 
fifty years of royal paternalism, the cultivable 
area of New France amounted to only 150,000 
arpents, and at the dose of the French dominion 
in 1760 it was scarcdy more than twice that 
figure, — in other words, about five arpents for 
each head of population. 

While industry and trade, particularly the In- 
dian trade, took the attention and interest of a 
considerable portion in the population of New 
France, agriculture was from first to last the 
vocation of the great majority. The census of 
1695 showed more than seventy-five per cent 
of the people living on the farms of the colony 
and this ratio was almost exactly maintained, 
nearly sixty years later, when tlw census of 1754 


was compiled. This population was scattered 
along both banks of the St. Lawrence from a point 
well below Quebec to the region surrounding 
Montreal. Most of the farms fronted on the 
river so that every habitant had a few arpents 
of marshy land for hay, a tract of cleared upland 
for ploughing, and an are«. extending to the rear 
which might be turned into meadow or left 
uncleared to supply him with firewood. 

Wheat and maize were the great staples, 
although large quantities of oats, barley, and 
peas were also grown. The wheat was invariably 
spring-sown, and the yield w&Bged from d^t 
to twelve hundredweights per arpeni, or from 
toi to fourteen bushels per acre. Most td the 
wheat was made into flour at the seigneurial mfllif 
and was consumed in the colony, but shipments 
w^ also made with fair r^fularity to France, 
to the West Indies, and for a time to Louisbourg. 
In 17S6 the exports of wheat amounted to nearly 
100,000 bushels, and in the year following the 
banner harvest of 1741 this total was nearly 
doubled. The price which the habitant got for 
wheat at Quebec ranged normally from two to 
four livres per hundredweight (about thirty to 
sixty cents per bushel) depending upon the har- 


vests in the colony and the safety with which 
wheat could be shipped to France, which, again, 
hinged upor the fact whether France and F.ngUi^^ 
were at peace or at war. Indian com was 
not exported to any large ext^t» but many 
caigoes of dried peas were sent abroad, and 
occasionally fh&ee were small ^pments €d oats 
and beans. 

Th3re was also a oonsiaerable production ol 
hemp, flax, and tobacco, but not for export in aqy 
large quantity. The tobacco grown in the cokxpy 
was coarse and JU-flavcmid. It was smoked by 
both the habitant and the Indian because it was 
dieap; but Brazilian tobacco was greatly preferred 
by those who could afford to buy it, and large 
quantities of this were brouf^t in. The French 
Grovmunent frowned upon tobacco-growing in 
New France, believmc as Colbert wrote to Talon in 
1672, tiiat any such policy would be prejudicial to 
the interests o2 the French colonies in the tropical 
zones which were much better adapted to this 
branch of cultivation. 

Cattle raising made substantial progress, and 
the King urged the Sovereign Council to prohibit 
the slaughter of cattle so that the herds might 
keep on growing; but the stock was not of a li%ii 


standard, but undersized, of mongrel breed, and 
poorly cared for. Sheep raising, despite the brisk 
demand for wool, made slow headway. Most of 
the wool needed in the colony had to be brought 
from France, and the demand was great because so 
much woolen clothing was required for winter use. 
The keeping of poultry was, of course, another 
branch of husbandry. The habitants were fond of 
horses; even the poorest managed to keep two or 
three, which was a wasteful policy as there was 
no work for the horses to do during nearly half 
the year. Fodder, however, was abundant and 
cost nothing, as each habitant obtained from the 
flats along the river all that he could cut and 
carry away. This marsh hay was not of superior 
quality, but it at least saved to carry the horses 
and stock through the wint». 

Tlie methods of agriculture were b^ond ques- 
tion slovenly and crude. Catalogue, the mgi^f^r 
whom the authorities commissioned to make an 
agricultural census of the colony, ventured the 
opinicm that, if the fields of France were cultivated 
as the farms of Canada were, three-quarters of 
the French people would starve. Rotation of crops 
was practicaUy unknown, and fertilization of the 
land was rare, although the habitant frequently 


burned the stubble before putting the plough to 
his fields. From time to time a part of each farm 
was allowed to lie fallow, but such fallow fields 
were leit unploughed and soon grew so rank with 
weeds that the soil really got no rest at all. AH 
the ploughing was done in the spring, and it 
was not very well done at that, for the land was 
ploughed in ridgec which left much waste between 
the furrows. Too oft^ the seed became poor, 
as a result of the habitant using seed from his own 
crops year after year untfl it became nin out. 
Most of the cultivated land was high and diy and 
needed no artifidal drainage. Even where the 
water lay on the land late in the spring, however, 
th^ was korely an attempt, as Peter Kahn in 
his Tmodt lemaiks, to dram it off. The hab- 
itant had putioice in greater measure t!ian 
industry, and he was always ready to wait for 
nature to do his work. Everybody depended 
for his implements lar^^ely upon his own workman- 
ship, so that the tools of agriculture were cf poor 
construction. The cultivation of even a few 
arpents required a great deal of manual drudgery. 
On the other hand, the land of New France was 
fertile, and every one could have plenty of it for the 
asking. Kalir thought it quite as good as the 


Average in the £ii|^ colonies and far better 
than most arable land in his own Scandinavia. 

Why, then, did French-Canadian agriculture, 
despite the wajm ofecial encouragement given to 
jt, make such relatively meager progress? There 
are several reasons for its backwardness. 1, The 
long winters, which developed in the habit^ 
an inveterate disposition to idleness, afford the 
clue to one of them. A general aversion to un- 
remitting manual toil was one of the colony's 
besetting sins. Notwithstanding the small per 
capita acreage, accordingly, there was a continual 
complaint that not enough labor could be had 
to work the farms. Women and children were 
pressed into service in the busy seasons. Yet 
the odbny abounded in idle men, and mendicancy 
at one time assumed such proportions as to require 
the enforcement of stringent penalties. The au- 
thorities were partly to bhune for the develop- 
ment of this trait, for upon the slightest excuse 
they took the habitant from his daily routme and 
set him to help with warlike expeditions against 
the Indians and the English, or called him to build 
roads or to r^wur the fortificationsftkAnd the 
lure of the fur trade, which drew the most vigo rous 
young men of the land off the farms into the forest. 


wag another obstadc to the growth <rf yeonuu uy. 
Mweover, the curioua and iaccmvenient Aape o f 
the farma ,, moat of them mere ribbona of land, 
with a narrow f roata^eand disproportionate depth, 
handicapped all ^F^rts to cultivate the fields in 
an intelligent way. \V^Fiiially, there was the gen eral 
poverty of the people. With a large family to 
support, for families of ten to fifteen children 
were not uncommon, it was hard for the settler 
to make both ends meet from the annual yield 
of a few arpents, however fertile. The habitant, 
therefore, took the shortest cut to everything, 
getting what he could out of his land in the quick- 
est possible way with no reference to the ultimate 
improvement of the farm itself. If he '^ver 
managed to get a little money, he waa likely to 
apend it at once and to become as impecunioua 
aa before. Such a propensity did not make for 
progreaa, for poverty begeta slovenlineaa in all agea 
and among all races of men. 

If anything like the industry and intelligence 
that waa beatowed upon agrkulture in the Engliah 
ooloniea had been iq>p]ied to the St. Lawrence 
vall^. New France might have flipped far more 
wheat than beaver akina each year to Europe. 
But in thia reapect the colony never half realized 

tbe royal eipecUtioiu. On the other hand, the 
attempt to make the hmd a rich grain-growing 
colony was far from being a flat failure. It was 
. supporting its own population, and had a mo !est 
amount of grain each year for export to France 
or to the French West Indies. With peace it 
would soon have become a land of plenty, for the 
traveler who passed along the great river from 
Quebec to Montreal in the late autumn might see, 
as Kalm in his Travels tells us he saw, field upon 
field of waving grain extending from the shores 
inward as far as the eye could reach, broken only 
here and there by tracts of meadow and woodland. 
Here was at least the nucleus of a Golden West 

Of colonial industry, however, not as much can 
be said as of agriculture. Down to about 166S 
it had given scarcely a single token of existence. 
The colony, until that date, manufactured nothing. 
Everything in the way of furnishings, utensils, 
apparel, and ornament was brought in the com- 
pany's ships from France, and no one seemed to 
look upon this procedure as at all unusual. On 
the coming of Talon in 1665, however, the idea of 
fostering home industries in the colony took active 
shape. By persuasion and by promise of reward, 
the "Colbert of New France" interested the 


prominent citizens of Quebec in modat induttrial 
enterprises of every sort. 

But the outcome soon belied the intendant'f 
airy hopes. It was easy enough to make a brave 
start in these things, especially with the aid of an 
initial subsidy from the treasuiy; but to keep 
the wheels of industry moving year after year 
without a subvention was an altogether diffeient 
thing. A colony numbering leM than ten thou- 
sand souls did not furnish an adequate market 
for the products ol varied industries, and the high 
cost of tranqxxrtatkm made It difficult to eiport 
manufactured wares to France or to the West 
Indies with any hope ol profit. A change of tone, 
moreovCT, soon became notxieable In Colbert's 
diqpatdies with reference to Industrial devdop- 
ment. In 1665, when giving his first Instructions 
to Talon, the minister had dilated upon his desire 
that Canada should become self-sustaining in the 
matter of clothing, shoes, and the simpler house- 
fumlshin|rs. But within a couple of years Col- 
bert's mind seems to have taken a different shift, 
and we find him advising Talon that, after all, it 
might be better if the people of New France would 
devote their energies to agriculture and thus to 
raise enough grain wherewith to buy muuufactured 

100 (!;rusaders of new france 

wares from France. So, for one reason or another, 
the infant industries languished, and, after Talon 
was gone, they gradually dropped out of existence. 

Another of Talon's ventures was to send pro- 
spectors in search of minerals. The use of malle- 
able copper by the Indians had been noted by the 
French for many years p*id various rumors con- 
cerning the source of supply had filtered through 
to Quebec. Some of Talon's agents, including 
Jean Fet€, w&at as far as the upper lakes, returning 
with samples of copper cm. But the distance fnMBi 
Quebec was too great for profitable tnuu^ioitatioB 
and, although P^re Dablon in 1670 sent down an 
aocuntte description <^ the great masses <^ ore in 
the Iiake Superior r^on, many gen^tions were 
to pass before any serious attempt could be made 
to devdop this source of wealth. Near«r at hand 
some titaniferous iron ore was discovoed, at Baie 
St. Paul below Qudbec, but it was not utilised, 
although on bdng tested it was found to be good in 
quality. Then the intendant sent agents to verify 
reports as to rich coal deposits in Isle Royale 
(Cape Breton), and they returned with glowing 
accounts which subsequent iiidustrial history 
has entirely justified. Shipments of this coal were 
brought to Quebec for consumption. A little later 


the iutendant reported to Colbert that a vein of 
coal had been actually uncovered at the foot of tlie 
great rock which frowns upon the Lower Town at 
Quebec, adding that the vein could not be followed 
for fear of toppling over the Ch&teau which ttood 
above. No one has ever aince found any trace of 
Talon's coal deposit, and the geologists of today 
are quite certam that the intendant had more 
imagination than accunK^ of statement <x ev*** 
of elementary nuneralogical knowledge. 

Above the settlemoit at Three Rivers son^e 
excellent deposits of bog ircm ore were found in 
1668, but it was not untO five decades later that 
the first forges were established there. These 
were successfully operated throughout the remain- 
der of the Old Fegime, and much of the colony's 
iron came from to supply the blacksmiths. 
Vrom time to time rumors of other mineral dis- 
coveries came to the ears of the people. A 
find of lead was reported from the Gaspe penin- 
sula, but an investigation proved it to be a oax. 
Copper was actually found in a dozen places 
within the settled ranges of the colony, but not 
in paying quantities. Every one was alwav n 
the qui vive for a vein of gold or silver, but r ► p«rt 
of New France ever gave the slightest h at of 


an El Dorado. Prospecting oigaged the energiei 
ol many colonists in every goierationt but most 
of those who thus spent their years at it got nothing 
but a princely dividend <^ chagrin. 

Mention should also be made of the brewing 
industry which Talon set upon its feet during his 
brief intendancy but which, like all the rest of his 
schemes, did not long survive his departure. In 
establishing a brewery at Quebec the paternal 
intendant had two ends in mind: first, to reduce 
the large consumption of eau-de-vie by providing a 
cheaper and more wholesome substitute; and 
second, to furnish the farmers of the colony with a 
profitable home market for their grain. In 1671 
Talon reported to the French authorities that the 
Quebec brewery was capable of turning out four 
thousand hogsheads of beer per annum, and thus 
of creating a demand for many thousand bushels 
of malt. Hops were also needed and were expen- 
sive when brought from France, so that the peo- 
ple were ^couraged to grow hop-vines in the 
colony. But even with grain and hops at hand, 
the brewing industry did not thrive, and before 
many years Talon's enterprise closed its dows. 
The building was finally remodded and became 
the headquarters of the later intendants. 


Flour-making and lumbering were the two 
industries which made most consistent progicsi 
in the cokmy. Flour-mills were established both 
in and near Quebec at an early date, and in ooune 
of time there were scores of them scattered through- 
out the colony, most of them built and operated 
as barud mills by the seigneurs. The majority 
were windmills after the Dutch fashion, but some 
were water-driven. On the whole, they were not 
very efficient and turned out flour of such indiflFer- 
ent grade that the bakers of Quebec complained 
loudly on more than one occasion. In response to 
a request from the intendant, the King sent out 
some fanning-mills which were distributed to 
various seigneuries, but even this benefaction 
did not seem to make any great improvement in 
the quality of the product. Yet in some years 
the colony had flour of sufficiently good quality 
for export, and sent small cargoes both to France 
and to the French West Indies. 

The sawing of lumber was carried on in various 
parts of the colony, particularly at Malbaie and at 
Baie St. Paul. Beam-timbers, planks, staves, and 
shingles were made in large quantities both for 
use in the colony and for export to France, where 
the timbers and {danks were in demand at the 

royal shipyards. Wherever lands were granted 
by the Crown, a provision was inserted in the 
title-deed reserving all oak timber and all pine 
of various species suitable for mastings. Though 
such timber was not to be cut without o£5cial 
permission, the people did not always respect this 
reservation. Yet the quantity of timber shipped 
to France was very large, and next to furs it formed 
the leading item in the cargoes of out£. jing ships. 
For staves there was a good market at Quebec 
where barrels were being made for the packing of 
salted fish and eels. 

The various handicrafts or small industries, 
such as blacksmithing, cabinet-making, pottery, 
brick-making, were regulated quite as strictly in 
Canada as in France. The artisans of the towns 
w«e organized mto juris or guilds, and elected a 
master for each trade. These masters were 
lesponoble to the civil authorities for the proper 
quality of the work done and for the observance of 
all the regulations which were promulgated by the 
hitendant or the councfl from time to time. 

This relative profidency in home industry 
accounts in part for the tardy progress of the col- 
ony in the matter of large industrial establish- 
ments. But there were other handkaps. For 

one thing, the Paris authorities were not anxious 
to see the colony become industrially self-sustain- 
ing. Colbert in his earliest instructions to Takm 
wrote as though this were the royal poller, but no 
other minister ever hinted at such a desire. Rather 
it was thought best that the colony should confine 
itself to the production of raw materials, leaving 
it to France to supply manufactured wares in 
return. The mocantilist doctrine that a colony 
existed for the benefit of the mother country was 
gospel at Fontainebleau. Ey&n Mcmtcahn, a man 
of liberal inclinations, expressed this idea with 
undiminished vigor in a day when its evil results 
must have been apparent to the naked eye. " Let 
us beware," he wrote, "how we allow the establish- 
ment of industries in Canada or she will become 
proud and mutinous like the English colonies. 
So long as France is a nursery to Canada, let not 
the Canadians be allowed to trade but kept to 
their laborious life and military services.** 

The exclusion of the Huguenots from Canada 
was another industrial misfortune. A few Hugue- 
not artisans came to Quebec from Rochelle at 
an early date, and had they been weloomed, 
more would soon have followed. But they were 
promptly deported. From an ecoiiomic standpoint 

this was an unfortunate policy. The Huguenots 
were resourc^ul workmen, skilled in many trades. 
They would have supplied the colony with a vigor- 
ous and enterprising stock. But the interests 
id orthodoxy in religion were paramount with the 
authorities, and they kept from Canada the one 
dass of settlers whk^ most desired to come. 
Many of those same Huguenots went to England, 
and evory student of economic history knows how 
greatly they contributed to the upbuilding of 
England's lata mxpr&nBcy in the textile and 
related industries. 

If we turn to the field of oommeroe, the spirit ol 
restriction appears as prominently as in the domain 
of industry. The Company of One Hundred 
Associates, during its thirty years of control, 
allowed no one to proceed to Quebec except on its 
own vessels, and nothing could be imported 
except through its storehouses. Its successor, 
the Company of the West Indies, which dominated 
colonial conmierce from 1664 to 1669, was not a 
whit more liberal. Even under the system of 
royal government, the consistent keynotes of 
commercial policy were regulation, paternalism, 
and monopoly. 
This is in no seoae surprising. Spain had 

first given to tlie world tliis pohcy of cpouQcifiial 
constraint and the great enrichment of the Spanidi 
monarchy was evnywhere held to be its outcome. 
France, by reason of h» similar' political and 
administrative system, found it ea^ to drift 
into the wake of the Spanish example. The 
official classes in England and Holland would fain 
have had these countries do likewise, but private 
initiative and oiterprise proved too strong in 
the end. As for New France, there were spells 
during which the grip of the trading monopolies 
relaxed, but these lucid intervals were never 
very long. When the Company of the West 
Indies became bankrupt in 1669, the trade between 
New France and Old was ostensibly thrown open 
to the traders of both countries, and for the moment 
this freedom gave Colbert and his Canadian 
apostle. Talon, an opportunity to carry out their 
ideas of commercial upbuilding. 

The great minister had as his ideal the creation 
of a huge fleet of merchant vessels, built and 
operated by Frenchmen, which would to all 
quarters of the globe, bringing raw products to 
France and taking manufactured WBim in return. 
It was under the inspiration of this Ideal that 
Talon built at Quebec a small vessel and, having 


freighted it with lumber, fish, com, and dried 
peaae» sent it off to the French West Indies. 
After taking on board a cargo of sugar, the vessel 
was then to proceed to France and, exchanging 
the sugar for goods which were needed in the 
regions of the St. Lawrence, it was to return to 
Quebec. The intendant's plans for this triangular 
trade were well conceived, and in a general way 
they aimed at just what the English colonies 
along the Atlantic seaboard were beginning to 
do at the time. The keels of other ships were 
being laid at Quebec and the officials were dreaming 
of great maritime achievements. But as usual 
the enterprise never got beyond the sailing of the 
first vessel, for its voyage did not yield a profit. 

The ostensible throwing-open of the colonial 
trade, moreover, did not actually change to any 
great extent the old system of paternalism and 
monopoly. Commercial comy^anies no longer con- 
trolled the channels trar tation, it is true, 
but the royal gove^-ment * - ot minded to let 
everything take its own course. So the trade was 
taxed for the benefit of the royal treasury, and the 
privilege o collecting the taxes, according to the 
custom <rf the old regime, was fanned out. All 
the commerce of the colony, imports and exports. 

had to pass through the hands of these farmers-of- 
the-revenue who levied ten per cent <»i all goods 
coming and kept for the royal treasury one- 
quarter of the price fixed for all skins expartdd. 
Traders as a rule were not permitted to sh^ their 
furs dtfectly to France. They turned them in to 
farmers-of-the-revenue at Quebec, where they 
received the price as fixed by ordinance, less one- 
quarter. This price th^ usually took in bills of 
exchange on Paris which they handed over to the 
colonial merchants in payment for goods, and 
which the merchants in turn sent home to France 
to pay for new stocks. Nor were the authorities 
content with the mere fixing of prices. By 
ordinance they also set the rate of profit which 
traders should have upon all imported wares 
brought into the colony. This rate of profit was 
fixed at sixty-five per cent, but the traders had no 
compunction in going above it whenever they saw 
an opportunity which was not likely to be dis- 
covered. As far as the forest trade was caoeaaed, 
the regulation was, of course, absurd. 

Every year, about the beginning of May, the 
first ships left France for the St. Lawr^ce with 
general cargoes corsisting of goods for the oolinusts 
themselves and for the Indians, as weD aa laijge 


quantities of brandy. "When they arrived at Que- 
beC} the vessels were met by the merchants of the 
town and by those who had come from Three 
Rivers and Montreal. For a fortnight lively 
trading took place. Then the goods which had 
been bought by the merchants of Montreal and 
Three Riven were loaded upon small barques and 
brou^t to these towns to be in readiness 
for the annual fairs when the eowreurs^boii 
and their Indians came down to trade in the late 
summer. As for the vessds which had come 
from France, these were dther loaded with timbw 
or furs and set off directly h<»ne again, or dse 
they departed light to Cape Bi«ton and took 
cargoes of coal for the French T Indies, whore 
the refining of sugar occasioned a 4emand for fuel. 
The last ships l^t in November, and for seven 
months the colony was cut off from Europe. 

Trade at Quebec, while technically open to 
any one who would '^ay the duties and observe 
the regulations as to rates of profit, was actually 
in the hands of a fcv merchants who had large 
warehouses and who took the greater part of what 
the ships brought in. These men were, in turn, 
affiliated more or less closely with the great 
trading houses which sent goods from Rouen or 

Rochelle, so that the monopoly wm nearly ai mm- 
clad as when commercial companies were in oontroL 
When an outsider broke into the charmed dicle, as 
happened occasionally, there was usually some 
way of hustling him out again by means either fair 
or foul. The mon<^x>liBts made large prt^ts, 
and many of them, after th^ had accumulated a 
fortune, went home to France. "I have known 
twenty of these pedUtfs," quoth La H<mtan, 
"that had not above a thousand crowns stock when 
I arrived at Quebec in the year 168S and when 
I left that place had got to the tune of twelve 
thousand crowns. 

Glancing over the whole course of agriculture, 
industry, and commerce in New France from the 
time when Champlain built his little post at 
the foot of Cape Diamond until the day when 
the fleur-de-b's fluttered down from the heights 
above, the historian finds that there is one word 
which sums up the chief cause of the colony's , 
economic weakness. That word is "paternalism. " 
The Administration tried to take the place of 
Providence. It was as omnipresent and its ways 
were as inscrutable. Like as a father chasteneth 
his children, so the King and his officials felt it 
theu- duty to chasten every show of private initia- 


live which did not direct itself along the grooves 
that they had marked out for the colony to 
follow. By trying to order everything they 
eventually succeeded in ordering nothing aright. 



In New France there were no privileged orders. 
This, indeed, was the most marked difference 
between the social organization of the home land 
and that of the colony. There were social distinc- 
tions in Canada, to be sure, but the boundaries 
I ^tween different elements of the population were 
not rigid; there were no privileges based ^ pon the 
laws of the land, and no impenetrable barrier sep- 
arated one class from another. Men could rise by 
their own efforts or come down through their own 
defaults; their places in the community were not 
determined for them by the accident of birth as 
was the case in the older land. Some of the most 
successful figures in the public and business affairs 
of New France, some of the soda! leaders, some of 
those who attained the hi^est rank In the ndHeate, 
came of relativdy humble parentage. 
In France of the sixteoitli and seventeenth 



centuries the chief offidala of state, the seigneurs, 
the higher ecclesiasticf. even the officers of the 
army and the marine, were alwayf drawn from the 
nobility. In the colony this was veiy far from 
being the case. Some colonial offidak and a few 
of the seigneurs were among the numoout nobleMe 
of France before they came, and they of course 
retained their social rank in the new envmmment. 
Others were raised to this rank by the King, 
usually for distinguished services in the cdony 
and <m the reoommendatkm of the governs or 
the intendant. But, even if taken all together, 
these men constituted a very small proportion 
of the people in New France. Even among the 
seigneurs the great majority of these landed 
gentlemen came from the ranks of the people, and 
not one in ten was a member oi the noblesse. 
There was, therefore, a social solidarity, a spirit 
of fraternity, and a feeling of universal comrade- 
ship among them which was altogether lacking at 

The pivot of social life in New France was the 
settlement at Quebec. This was the colonial 
capital, the seat of the governor and of the council, 
the only town in the colony large enough to have 
all the trappings and tinsel of a well-rounded social 

set. Here, too, aune lome of the te^Miin to 
spend the winter monthe. The royal oBdakp the 
oflScen of the garriaon, the JeacUng mefchaata, 
the judgee, the notarief and a few other prale^ 
Monal men — these with their families made up an 
^te which managed to edio, even if MMnewhat 
faintly, the pomp and ^amor ot VemiUei. Que- 
bec, from all accounts, was livdy in the long 
winteis. Its peoj^ who were shut off from all 
intercourse with Europe for many months at a 
time* soon learned the art of providing for their 
own recreation and amusement. The knight- 
cnant La Hontan speaks enthusiastically of the 
events in the life of this miniature society, of 
the dinners and dances, the salons and receptions, 
the intrigues, rivalries, and flirtations, all of which 
were veil suited to his Bohemian tastes. But 
the clergy frowned upon this levity, of which th^ 
believed there was far too much. On one or 
two occasions they even laid a rigorous and re- 
straining hand upon activities of which they dis- 
approved, notably when the young officers of the 
Quebec garrison undertook an amateur perform- 
ance of MoIi^*s TaHuffe in 1694. At Montreal 
and Three Rivers, the two nnaller towns of the 
colony, the sodal circle was more contracted and 


correspondingly less brilliant. The capital, indeed, 
had no rival. 

Only a small part of the population, however, 
lived in the towns. At the beginning of the 
eighteenth century the census (1706) showed a 
total of 16,417, of whom less than SOOO were in 
the three chief settlements. The others were 
scattered along both hanks of the St. Lawrence, 
but chiefly on the northern shore, with the houses 
grouped into cdtes or little villages which almost 
touched elbows along the banks of the stream. 
In each of these hamlets the manor-house or home 
of the seigneur, although not a mansion by any 
means, was the focus of social life. Sometimes 
built of timber but more often of stone, with 
dimensions rarely exceeding twenty feet by forty, 
it was not much more pretentious than the homes 
of the more prosperous and thrifty among the 
seigneur*s dependents. Its three or four spacious 
rooms were, however, more comfortably equipped 
with furniture which in many cases had been 
brought from France. Socially, the seigneur and 
his family did not stand apart from his neighbors. 
All went to the same church, took part in the same 
amusements upon days of festival, and not infre- 
quently worked together at the common of 

clearing the lands. Sons and daughters of the 
seigneurs, often intermarried with those of habi- 
tants in the seigneuiy or of traders in the towns. 
Thrre was no social impaaae such as existed in 
Fruice among the various elements in a com- 

As for the habitants, the people who cleared 
and cultivated the lands of the seigneuries, they 
worked and lived and dressed as pioneers are 
wont to do. Their homes were commonly built of 
feUed timber or of rough-hewn stone, solid, low, 
stocky buildings, usually about twenty by forty 
feet or thereabouts in size, with a single doorway 
and very few windows. The roofs were steep- 
pitched, with a dormer window or two thrust out 
on either side, the eaves projecting well over the 
walls in such manner as to give the structures a 
half-bungalow appearance. With almost religious 
punctuality the habitants whitewashed the out- 
sif^e of their walls every spring, so that from the 
river the country houses looked trim and neat at 
all seasons. Between the river and the uplands 
ran the roadway, close to which the habitants set 
their ccmspicuous dwellings with only in rare 
cases a grass plot or shade tree at the doc». In 
winter they bore the full bbst of the winds that 


drove across the expanse of frozen stream in front 
of them; in summer the hot smi blazed relentlessly 
upon the low roofs. As ich house stood but a 
few rods from its neighbor on either nde, the 
colony thuB took on the appearance of one long» 
straggling, village street The habitant liked to 
be near his f dlows, partly for his own safety against 
marauding redskins, but chiefly because the 
colony was at best a lonely place in the long cold 
season when there was little for any one to do. 

Behind each house was a small addition used as 
a storoYMm. Not far away were the bam and the 
stable, built always of untrimmed logs, the inter- 
vening chinks securely filled with clay or mortar. 
There was also a root-house, half-sunk in thr 
ground or burrowed into the slope of a hill, where 
the habitant kept his potatoes and vegetables 
secure from the frost through the winter. Most 
of the habitants likewise had their own bake- 
ovens, set a convenient distance behind the 
house and rising four or five feet from the ground. 
These they built roughly of boulders and plastered 
with clay. With an abundance of wood from 
the virgin forests they would build a roaring fire 
in these ovens and finish the whole week's baking 
at one time. The habitant would often endoi* 

a small plot of ground surrounding the house and 
outbuildings with a fence of piled stones or gplit 
rails, and in one comer he would plant his kitchco- 

Within the dwelling-house there were usually 
two, and never more than three, rooms on the 
ground floor. The doorway opened into the great 
room of the house, parlor, dining-room, and 
kitchen combined. A "living" room it surely 
was! In the better houses, however, this room 
was divided, with the kitchen partitioned off 
from the rest. Most of the furnishings were the 
products of the colony and chiefly <a the family's 
own workmanship. The floor was of hewn 
timber, rubbed and scrubbed to smoothness. A 
woolen rug or several of them, always of vivid 
hues, covmi the greater part of it. There were 
the family dinner-table of hewn pine, chairs made 
of pine saplings with seats of rushes or woven 
underbark, and often in the comer a couch that 
would serve as an extra bed at night. Pictures of 
saints hung on the walls, sharing the space with a 
crucifix, but often having for ominous company 
the habitant's flint-lock and his powder-horL 
hanging from the beams. At one end of the 
room was the fireplace and hearth, the sde means 


of heating the place, and usually the only means 
of cooking as well. Around it hung the array of 
pots and pans, almost the only things in the house 
which the habitant and his family were not able 
to make for themselves. The lack of colonial 
industries had the advantage of throwing each 
home upon its own resources, and the people 
developed great versatility in the cruder arts of 
oraftsmanship . 

Upstairs, and reached by a ladder, was a loft or 
attic running the full area of the house, but so 
low that one could touch the rafters everywhere. 
Here the children, often a dozen or more of them, 
were stowed away at night on mattresses of suaw 
or feathers laid along the floor. As the windows 
were securely fastened, even in the coldest weather 
this attic was warm, if not altogether hygienic. 
The love of fresh air in his dwelling was not 
among the habitant's virtues. Evory on* went 
to bed shortly after daikness fell upon the land, 
and all rose with the sun. Even visits and festivi- 
ties were not at that time prolonged into the 
night as they are nowadays. Therein, however. 
New France did not diflFer from other lands. In 
the seventeenth century most of the world went to 
bed at nightfall because there was nothing else to 

do, and no easy or inexpensive artificial light. 
Candles were in use, to be sure, but a great many 
more of them were burned on the altars of the 
churches than in the homes of the people. For his 
reading, the habitant depended upon the priest, 
and for his writing, upon the notary. 

Clothing was almost wholly made at home. It 
was warm and durable, as well as somewhat dis- 
tinctive and picturesque. Every parish had spin- 
ning wheels and handlooms m some of its homes on 
which the women turned out the heavy druggets or 
6toffes du paya from which most of the men's 
clothing was made. A great fabric it was, this 
homespun, with nothing but wool in it, not attrac- 
tive m pattern but able to stand no end of wear. 
It was fashioned for the habitant's use into roomy 
trousers and a long frock coat reaching to the 
knees which he tied around his waist with a belt 
of leather or <rf knitted yam. The women also 
used this Hoffe for skirts, but their waists and 
summer dresses were of calico, homemade as well. 
As for the children, most of them ran about in the 
summer months wearing next to nothing at all. A 
single garment without sleeves and reaching to 
the knees was all that covered their nakedness. 
For all ages and for both sexes there were furs in 


plenty for winter use. Beaver skins were cheap, 
in some years about as cheap as cloth. When 
properly treated they were soft and pliable, and 
easily made into clothes, caps, and mittens. 

Most of the footwear was made at home, usually 
from deerhides. In winter every one wore the 
bottes sauvagesy or oiled moccasins laced up half- 
way or more to the knees. They were proof 
against cold and were serviceable for use with snow- 
shoes. Between them and his feet the habitant 
wore two or more pairs of heavy woolen socks 
made from coarse homespun yam. In summer the 
women and children of the rural communities 
usually went barefoot so that the soles of their feet 
grew as tough as pigskin; the men sometimes did 
likewise, but more frequently they wore, in the 
fields or in the forest, dogs made of cowhide. 

Oa tltt week-days of summ^ every one wore a 
straw hat which the womoi of the housefadd spent 
part of each winter in plaiting. In cold weather 
the knitted tuque made in vivid colors was the 
great favorite. It was warm and picturesque. 
Each section of the colony had its own color; the 
habitants in the vicinity of Quebec wore blue 
tuquesy while those around Montreal preferred red. 
The apparel of the people was thus in general 

adapted to the countiy, and it had a distinctive&eM 
that has not yet altogether passed away. 

On Sundays and on the numerous days of festi- 
val, however, the habitant and his family brought 
out their best. To Mass the m«Hi wore dothes of 
better texture and high beaver hats, the women 
appeared in their brighter plumage of dresses 
with ribbons and laces imported from France. 
Such finery was brought over in so large a quan- 
tity that more than one rrUmoire to the home 
government censured the "spirit of extravagance" 
of which this was one outward manifestation. In 
the towns the officials and the well-to-do mer- 
chants dressed elaborately on all occasions of 
ceremony, with scarlet cloaks and perukes, 
buckled slippers and silk stockings. In early 
Canada there was no austerity of garb such as we 
find in Puritan New England. New Prance on a 
jour defete was a blaze of color. 

As for his daily fare, the habitant was never 
badly off even in the years when harvests were 
poor. He had food that was more nourishing and 
more abundant than the French peasant had at 
home. Bread was made from both wheat and rye 
flour, the p»-oduct of the seigneurial mills. Com 
eakes w«w baked in Indian f ashicm ham ground 


maize. Fat salted pork was a staple during the 
winter, and nearly every habitant laid away each 
autumn a smoked supply oi eels from the river. 
Game of all sorts he could get with little trouble at 
any time, wild ducks and geese, partridges, for 
there v/ere in those days no game laws to protect 
them. In the early winter, likewise, it was indeed 
a luckless habitant who could not also get a caribou 
or two for his larder. FoUowing the Indian 
custom, the venison was smoked and hung on the 
kitchen beams, where it kept for months until 
needed. Salted or smoked fish had also to be 
provided for family use, since the usages of the 
Church required that meat shcmid not be used 
upon numerous fast-days. 

Vegetables of many varieties were grown in 
New France, where the warm, sandy, virgin soil 
of the St. Lawrence region was splendidly suited 
for this branch of husbandry. Peas were the great 
stand-by, and in the old days whole families were 
reared upon soupe aux pais, which was, and may 
even still be said to be, the national dish of the 
French Cana lians. Beans, cucumbers, melons, and 
a dozen otaer products were also grown in the 
family gardens. There were potatoes, which the 
habitant called patateg and not pommes de tene. 

but th^ were almost a rarity until the closing days 
<rf the Old Regime. Wild fruits, chiefly raspberries, 
blueberries, and wild grapes, grew in abundance 
among the foothills and were gathered in great 
quantities every summer. There was not much 
orchard fruit, although some seedling trees were 
brought from France and had managed to become 

On the whole, even in the hrmbler homes 
there was no need for any one to go hungry. The 
daily fare of the people was not of great variety, 
but it was nourishing, and there was plenty of it 
save in rare instances. More than one visitor to 
the colony was impressed by the rude comfort 
in which the people lived, even though they 
made no pretense of being well-to-do. "In New 
France," wrote Charlevoix, "poverty is hidden 
behind an air of comfort,'* while the gos8q>y La 
Hontan was of the opinion that "the boors of these 
seigneuries live with greater comfort than an 
infinity of the gentlemen in Prance." Occasion- 
ally, when the men w«e taken from the fidds to 
serve in the defense of the cokmy against the 
En^ish attadcs, the harvests were small and 
the people had to spond the oisuing winter oo 
abort raticms. Yet. as the authorities assured 


the King, they were "robust, vigorous, and aUo 
in time of need to live on little." 

As for beverages, the habitant was inordinately 
fond of sour milk. Tea was scarce and costly. 
Brandy was imported in huge quantities* and not 
all this eau-de-vie, as some writers unagine, went 
into the Indian trade. The people themselves 
consumed most of it. Every parish m the cd<my 
had its grog-shop; in 1725 the King ordered that 
no parish should have more than two. Quebec 
had a dozen or more, and complaint was made 
that the people flocked to these resorU early in the 
morning, thus rendering themselves unfit for work 
during most <rf the day, and soon ruming their 
health into the bargain. There is no doubt that 
the people of New Prance were fond of the flagon, 
for not only the priests but the civil authorities 
complained of this failing. Idleness due to the 
numerous holidays and to the long winters com- 
bined with the tradition of hospitality to encour- 
age this taste. The habitants were fond of visiting 
one another, and hospitality demanded on every 
such occasion the proflFer of something to drink. 
Od the other hand, the scenes of debauchery 
which a few chroniclers have described were not 
typical of the colony the year round. When the 

•hipa came in with their cargoeB. there was a 
great indulgeiice in feasting and drink, and the 
excesses at this time were sure to impress the 
casual visitor. But when the fleet had weighed 
anchor and departed for France, there was a 
quick return to the former quietness atd to a 
reasonable measure of sobriety. 

Tobacco was used freely. "Every farmer," 
wrote Kalm, "plants a quantity of tobacco near 
his house because it is universally smoked. Boys 
of twelve years of age often run about with the 
pipe in their mouths. '* The women were smokers, 
too, but more commonly they used tobacco in the 
form of snuff. In those days, as in our own, this 
French-Canadian tobacco was strong stuff, cured 
in the sun till the leaves were black, and when 
smoked emitting an odor that scented the whole 
parish. The art of smoking a pipe was one of 
several profiUess habits which the Frenchman lost 
little time in acquiring from his Indian friends. 

This convivial temperament of the inhabitante 
of New France has been noted by moie than one 
contemporary. The people did not q>end all 
their energies and time at hard kOwr. Frwn 
October, whoi the crops were in, until May, wh«i 
the season of seedtime came agam, there was. 



M I 

indeed, little hard work for them to do. Asid« 
from the cutting of firewood and the few houae- 
hold chores the day was free, and the habitants 
therefore spent it in driving about and vintiiig 
neighbors, drinking and smoking, dancing and 
playing cards. Winter, according^, was the 
great social season in the countiy as well as in 
the town. 

The chief festivities occurred at Mj^^^^tmag^^ 
Cnristmas, Easter, and May Day. Of these^ the 
first and the last were cbsely connected with 
the seigneurial system. On Michaefanas the hab* 
itant came to pay the annual rental for his lands; 
on May Day he rendered the Maypole hom- 
age which has been already described. Christ- 
mas and Easter were the great festivals of the 
Church and as such were celebrated with religious 
fervor and solenmity. In addition, minor festivals, 
chiefly religious in character, were numerous, so 
much so that their frequency even in the months 
of cultivation was the subject of complaint by 
the civil authorities, who felt that these holidays 
took altogether too much time froui labor. Sun- 
day was a day not only of worship but of recrea- 
tion. Clad in his best raiment, every one went 
to Mass, whatever the distance or the weather. 

The parish church indeed was the emblem of vfl- 
lage solidarity, for it gathered within ill waOt 
each Sunday morning all eeses and ages and ranks. 
The habitant did net separate his KUgion Irom Ml 
work or his amuseHMuts; the outward manifee- 
UtioBa el his faith weve TOt to his mind things of 
anoite wofki; the dwch and its priests were 
the center ahd s^ of h» little community. The 
whole oountrynde gatiKrod about the church 
doors after the service ii4ile the capitaine de la 
the : ,-4 r e pwM i MiU tive ef the intendant, 
lead the oeu jcs that had Iheen sent to him from 
tlte seato ol the nqghty at the CMteau de St. 
Louis. That duty over, there was a garrulous 
inteidiange of local gossip with a retaihng of such 
news as had dribbled through from France. The 
crowd then melted away in groups to spend the 
rest of the day in games or dancing or in friendly 
visits of one family with another. 

Especially popular among the young people of 
each parish were the corvSes rScrSoHves, or "bees" 
as we "all them nowadays in our rural communi- 
ties. Tiiere were the epuchlette or corn-husking, 
the brayage or flax-beating, and others of the same 
sort. The harvest-home or grosse-gerbe, cele- 
brated when the hutt load had been brought 


in from the fields, and the IgnoUe or welcoming 
of the New Year, were also occasions of goodwill, 
noise, and revelry. Dancing was by all odds 
the most popular pastime, and every parish had 
its fiddler, who was quite as indispensable a factor 
in the life of the village as either the smith or the 
notary. Every wedding was the occasion fox 
terpsichorean festivities which lasted all day long. 
The habitant liked to sing, especially when work- 
ing with others in the woods or when on the march. 
The voyageurs relieved the tedium wf their l(»ig 
journeys by breaking into song at intervals. But 
the popular rq>ertoire was limited to a few fdk- 
songs, most of th«n songs of Old France. They 
were easy to learn, simple to sing, but sprightly and 
melodious. Some of th^ have remained on the 
lips and in the hearts of the French-Canadian 
race for over two hundred years. Those who do 
not know the Claire fontaine and Ma bouli 
Toulant have never known French Canada. The 
for^MT of today still goes to the woods chanting 
the MaJbrouek »*m vort-en guerre which his ancestors 
caroled in the days of Blenheim and Malplaquet. 
When the habitant sang, moreover, it was in 
no pianissimo tones; he was lusty and chetrful 
about giving vent to his buoyant spuits. And 


his descendant of today kas not lost that 


The folklore of the old dominion, unlike the folk 
music, was extensive. Some of it came with the 
colonists from their Norman firesides, but more, 
perhaps, was the outcome of a supostitious 
popuhur inuigination working in the new and 
strange environment of the wilderness. The habi- 
tant had a profound bdirf in the supernatural, 
and was pnme to associate miraculous handiwork 
with every unusual event. He peopled the earth 
and the air, the woods and the rivuuis, with spirits 
<rf divmt tonaa and varied motives. The red 
man's abounding suprartition, likewise, had some 
influence upcm the habitant's highstnmg tempera- 
moit. At any rate. New France was full of legends 
and weird tales. Every island, every cove in the 
river, had one or more associated with it. Most of 
these legends had some moral lessons attached to 
them: they were tales of disaster which came from 
disobeying the teachings of the Church or of mira- 
culous escape from death or perdition due to the 
supernatural rewarding of righteousness. Taken 
together, they make up a wholesome and vigorous 
body of folklore, reflecting both the mystic temper 
of the colony and the relipous fervor ol its oommoa 


life. A distinguished son of French Canada has 
with great industry gathered these legends to- 
gether, a service for which posterity will be 

Various chroniclers have left us pen portraitures 
of thr habitant as they saw him in the oldoi days. 
Charlevoix, La Hontan, Hocquart, and Peter 
Kalm, men of widely di£Ferent tastes and apti- 
tudes, all bear testimony to his vigor, stamina, 
and native-bom vivacity. He was courteous and 
polite always, yet there was no flavor of servility 
in this most benjgn trait of charaeter. It was 
bred in his bone and was fostaed by the ♦i»«/»Ti{«g, 
of his church. Akmg with this went a bonhomie 
and a lightheartedness, a touch of personal vanity, 
with a liking for display and ostentation, which 
unhappily did not make for thrift. The habitant 
"enjoys what he has got," writes Charlevoix, 
"and often makes a display of what he has not 
got.'* He was also fond of honors, even minor 
ones, and plumed himself on the slightest recogni- 
tion from o£Scial circles. Habitants who by years 
of hard labor had saved enough to buy some im- 
cleared seigneury strutted about with the airs 
of genuine aristocrats while their wives, in the 
' Sir J. M. Lemaiat, Ugmiiit <i$ Ou SL Lamrtmet (QaebM; im^. 

words of Governor Denonville, "essayed to play 
the fine lady.'* More than one intendant was 
amused by this broad streak ol vanity in the 
colonial character. "Evay one h^" wrote 
MeuUes, "begins by calling himself an esquire 
and ends by thinking himself a nobleman. " 

Yet despite this attempt to keep up appear- 
ances, the people were poor. Oearing the land 
was a sbw process, and the cultivable area avail- 
able for the support oi each household was small. 
Early marriag 3 were the rule, and famih'es of a 
doKoi or more chikboi had to be supported from 
the produce of a few arpenta. To maintain such 
a family as this ev«y one had to work hard in the 
growing season, and even the women went to the 
fields in the harvest-time. One serious short- 
coming of the habitant was his lack of steadfast- 
ness in labor. There was a roving strain in his 
Norman blood. He could not stay long at any 
one job; there was a restlessness in his tempera- 
ment which would not down. He would leave 
his fields unploughed in order to go hunting 
or to turn a few sous in some small trading 
adventure. Unstable as water, he did not excel 
in tasks that required patience. But he could 
do a great many things after a fadiion, and some 


that could be done quickly he did surprisingly 

One racial characteristic which drew comment 
from observers of the day was the litigious dispo- 
sition of the people. The habitant would have 
made lawsuits his chief diversion had he been 
permitted to do so. "If this propensity be not 
curbed," wrote the intendant Baudot, "there will 
soon be more lawsuits in this country than there 
are persons.'* The people were not quarrelsome 
in the ordinary sense, but they were very jealoiu 
each one of his private rights, and the opportuni- 
ties for litigation oy& such mattors semed to 
provide themselves without end. Lands were 
given to settlers without accurate description of 
their- boundaries; faons were unfenced and 
cattle wandered into neighbormg fidds; the 
notaries themselves were a most il]iterate» and 
as a result scarcely a document in the 

colony was properly drawn. Nobody lacked pre- 
texts for controversy. Idleness during the winter 
was also a contributing factor. But the Church 
and the civil authorities frowned upon this 
habit of rushing to court with every trivial 
complaint. CurSs and seigneurs did what they 
could to have such difficulties settled amicably 


at home, and in a considerable measure they 

New France was bom and nurtured in an 
atmosphere of religious devotion. To the habi- 
tant the Church was everything— his school, his 
counselor, his almsgiver, his newspaper, his 
philosopher of things present and of things to 
come. To him it was the source of all knowledge, 
experience, and inspiration, and to it he never fal- 
tered in ungrudging loyalty. The Church made 
the colony a spiritual unit and kept it so. undefiied 
by any taint of here^. It furnished the one atroog^ 
well-disciplined organization that New France 
possessed, and its missionaries blazed the way for 
both yeoman and trader wherev« th^ went. 

Many traits of the raoe have been carried on to 
the present day without mbatantiai change. The 
habitant ol the old dommion was a vduble talker, 
a teSkat of great E^atka about his own feats ol skill 
and oidurance, his hair-raising escapes, or his 
astounding jnowess with musket and fishing-line. 
Stories grew in terms of prodigious achievement as 
they passed from tongue to tongue, and the scant 
regard for anythmg approachmg the truth m these 
matters became a national eccentricity. The 
habitant was boastful m aU that concerned himself 


(Hr his race; never did a people fed more firmly 
assured that it was the salt of the earth. He was 
proud of his ancestry, and proud of his allegiance; 
and so are his descendants of today even though 
their allegiance has changed. 

To speak of the habitants of New France as 
downtrodden or oppressed, dispirited or despair- 
ing, like the peasantry of the old land in the days 
before the great Revolution, as some historians 
have done, is to speak untruthfully. These people 
were neither serfs nor peons. The habitant, as 
Charlevoix puts it, "breathed from his birth the air 
of liberty"; he had his rights and he maintained 
them. Shut off from the rest of the world, know- 
ing only what the Church and civil government 
allowed him to know, he became provincial in his 
horizon and conservative in his habits of mind. 
The paternal policy of the authorities sapped his 
initiative and left him little scope for poscmal 
enterprise, so that he passed for being a dull fellow. 
Yet the annals of forest trade and Indian d^lo- 
macy prove that the New World possessed no 
sharps wits than his. Beneath a scmiewhat 
ungainly exterior the yeoman and the trader of 
New France concealed qualities of cunning, tact, 
and quick judgment to a surprising degree. 

These various types in the population of New- 
France, officials, missionaries, seigneurs, voyageurs, 
habitants, were all the scions of a proud race, 
admirably fitted to form the rank and file in a 
great crusade. It was not their fault that France 
failed to dominate the Western Heiiiu|»here. 


On the earlier voyages of discovery to the northeni 
coasts of the New World the most informing book is 
H. P. Biggar's Precursors of Jacques CaHier (Ottawa, 
Wll). Hakluyt's Voyages contain an English trans- 
mm of Cartier's own writings which cover the whole 
of the first two expeditions and a portion of the thbd. 
Champlain's journals, which describe in detaU hii sea 
voyages and inUmd trips of exploration during the years 
1604-1618 inclusive, were translated into English and 
published by the Prince Society of Boston durimr the 
years 1878-1882. ^ 

For further discussions of these eipkmitions and of the 

various other topics dealt with in this book the leeder 
may be referred to several works in the Chronides qf 
Canada (32 vols. Toronto, 1914-1916), namely, to 
Stqphen Leacock's Daum of Canadian History and 
Mariner qf St. ifofe/Charies W. Colby's Founder of New 
France and The Fighting Oovemor; Thomas Chapais's 
Great Intendant; Thomas G. Marquis's JesuU Mittume; 
also to Seigneurs of Old Canada and Coureurs-de-Bois 
by the author of the present volume. In each of 
these books, moreover, further bibliographical refer- 
ences corang the several tc^Hcs are provided. 
Hie series known as Canada and lie Pneinees (22 


vols, and index. Toronto, 1914) contains accurate and 
readable chapters upon every phase of Canadian 
hiatoiy. political, miKtary, social, economic, and liter- 
ary. The first two volumes of this scrfea deal with the 
French regime. Mention should also be made of the 
biographical series dealing with The Makers of Canada 
(22 vols. Toronto, 1905-1914) and especiaUy to the 
biographies of Champlain. Laval, and Frontenac 
whidi thw series includes among its earlier volumes. 

The writings of Francis Parkman, noUbly his 
Pwneera of New France, Old RSgime in Canada, JumU 
in North America, La Salle and the Discovery of the Gnat 
West, and Count Frontenac are of the highest interest 
and value. Although given to the world nearly two 
generations ago. these volumes still hold an un- 
challenged supremacy over an other books relaUng 
to this field of American history. 

Other works which may he oommended to leaders 
who seek pleasure as weU as instruction from books of 
history are the following: • 

Pebe F.-X. Chablevodc, Histoire et dSscripUon gfni^ 
rale de la NouveUe-Frame, translated by John 
Gilmary Shea (6 vols. N. Y.. 1866-1872). 

^ ^908)^^* C'awwiian Types of the Old RSgime (N. Y.. 

^ ^igicr^' ^ ^^"^^ ^^^^ (Edinburgh. 

James Douglas. Old France in the New World rOeve- 
land, 1900). ^ 

F.-X. Garneaf. Histoire du Canada (5th ed. by Hector 
^^ll^^^^y^rv^ ms. As yet only the first volume 
ot this edition has appeared.; 


P. Kalm, TtomU inio North Ammea (S vola. Loodoii, 


Le Baron de la Hontan, New Voyages to North 
America (ed. E. G. Thwaites. 2 vols. Chicago, 

Mabc Lescarbot, Eistoire d» la Nouodk-Frmce 
(translated by W. L. Grant. 3 vols. Toronto, 1907- 
1914. Publications of the Champlain Society). 

Fbederic a. Ogo, The Opening of the Mieeiseippi 
(N. Y., 1904). 

A. Sax/>nb, La eolonieaHon de la NotueOe-Franee (Paris» 


G. M. Wrong, A Canadian Manor and ite Seignemn 

(Toronto, 1908). 
For further references the reader should consult, in 
The Encyclopadia Briiannicat the articles on France, 
Camida,l4na» XIV, RidMmt, Colbert, nd The JeeuHe. 


iiins. The. act u suidM to 
^^pldn. 41; frieadly to the 

tiocMtCldaadof, 19. 2( 

.e Isl 8, 19, to 
Fr. .t>ii, 68 

if Jt A dtt Jenit musion- 
aiy, 56 

BrtHisge. birth|»lM9e of Cluun- 

GBmlmi. PeMseof (I7«*9) 
Cftnada. «m New Fri 

Cap Bouge, Cartier at. 
W; Roberval winters 

Cartier, Jacaues, sets ou 
voyage of discovery 
16; a conair. 16; it 
voyages, 17; readies New 
Wortd. 18; purpose of expedi- 
tKm. 19; returns home, 19; 
begins second voyage, 19-20; 
bis ships, 20; winters at Stada- 
oona, 21-23; learns of Great 
Lakes, 22; takes Indians to 
1 rni^, 23; account of voyage. 
24; sails on third voyage from 
St. Malo (1541), 25; winters 
at Cap Rouge, 26; defies pa- 
tmn. Hoberval, 97; personal 
characterist!f«- 29; later life 
«9; death (1557), 29; bibli- 
ography, 229 
Catalogue, Gedion de, makes 
nrvtf and aaaiM d Quebec 

region (..'«), 148-41: 
•Sriculir 1 census. Ih4 
Cataraciui i Kingston), fort e»- 
taUished at. 85-86; La SaUe 
receives frrant load at, UU 
Chaleur», Bu e de*. 18 
Champlain, Sanad <)e, ban at 
Brouage {IMtm, S8; mils with 
expeditun of De Chaste* 
(1608), SSi petsooal cfaaracter- 
"tics, »-S4; embarks as chief 
geographer (1604). So vinters 
at ht. Croix, 86-37; K /rder da 
Bon Tempi, 38; returns to 
France. 8'>: sails again for the 
St Lawrence (1606), SO; laid 
against the Iro^ioii^ 41; neks 
western panage to Ckthay, 
44, safcet journeys into in- 
tenor (1618 and 1616), 44-47; 
journals, 47; as viceroy's 
deputy, 48; surrenders to 
English, 51-52; returns to 
Quebec as representative <A 
Company of One Hundred 
Associates, 52; death (1688). 
53; appreciation of. 88-84 
Champlaiii, Lake, 41 
Chastee, Amyar. Seur de. S«. 

(liauvin <rf Honfleur, 32 
Church in New France, loyalty 

to, 113; Ballets, 115; 

Jesuits, il6 et ttq.; aid to dvil 

power, 127-28; revenues^ l£l^- 

130; tee also Jesuits 
Colbert, Jean Baptiste, 




Colbert— Conftnuerf 
colonial ventures, 8-9; plans 
for French interest. 60-61; 
plans fleet of nwRkaiit wtli 

Ck>urcel]e. Duuel de B6iiiy, Skm 
de, GovetoOT of Neirnaoce. 

Coureurs-de-bois, attack Indians 
(1687), 95-96; kind of men 
engaged as, 161-62; number, 
162-63; leaders, 163-64; meth- 
ods of trading, 165 et seq.; 
licenses granted to, 172 

Crtvecoeur, Fwrt, 10^ 107 

D'Ailleboust. Governor ot New 
n«nce, 55 

Denonville, Marquis de. Gov- 
ernor of New France, 94 

Donnacona, head of Indian vil- 
lage, 23 

Duchesneau, Jacques, Intendant 
<rf New France, 88; quarnls 
with Frontenac^ 89-01: re- 
called, 91 

Da Lhut. Danid GnymAm, 87. 
05, 181 

Pmnrmn, Bfaonne^ 78 

Education in New IVuio& 180- 

England, early explorations, 15, 
16; colonial ventuiei^ 40 

Five natiooa, q)pdIatioii of the 
Iroquois Indians, 40 

Stance in the seventeenth cen- 
tury, population, 1, 3; army, 1; 
power and prestige, 2-4; out- 
stripped in commerce, 3; racial 

aualities. 3-4 ; government, 4-5 ; 
aurch, 5; tardiness in Ameri- 
can colonization, 6-8; weak- 
new «rf colonial policgr, 10-14 
Wto^tme, Lodfl de Buade. 
Count, dioaen to carry out 
opkmial pdicy, 9; sent as 
Governor to QueiMc (1072), 

80; earl^ life, 80; penooal 
characteristics. 81-82; inaa> 
juration, 83; plans checked fay 
*Sag, 80-84; expansion policy, 
84 et teq.; builds fort at Ca- 
taraqui, 86; opposed by Bishop 
and Intendant, 89-91; recalled 
(1682), 91; returns to Quebec 
as Governor (1680). 07-08; 
death (1698), 98 
Frontenac, Fort, 85-86, 108, 108 
Fur trade with the In^m ^ 155 

Galilean l»anch of the Catholic 

Church, 5, 114 
Gasp6 Bay, 18 

Georgian Bay, Chanqihin's 

journey to, 46-47 
Giffard, Robert, 148 
Green B^, 168 

6ri^ The, 104-105, 100 

HaUtanta. 147-51, 207-26 
Haklujrt, account of meeting of 

Cartier and Roberval, 27 
Hubert, Louis, 137 
Hennepin, Louis, Becollet friar. 


Bochehiga (Montreal), 81-88, 

Huguenots excluded from Can- 
ada. 185-80 
Hunms, The, act as guides to 
Champlain, 41; friendly to the 
French, 45-46; destroyed by 
the Iroquois, 55-56; Jesuits 
among. 118-19 
Hurona, Lake (rf the, M» Georgian 

Illinois River, La Salle readhet. 

Indians, hostility toward Cartier. 
86; fur trade with, 156 a teq.; 
effect of irade upon, 178; tee 
alto Algonquins, HuroMk Iro- 
quois, Onondagu 
IrandeqaoitBigr. 108 



JboqiKHs. The, Champlain'a en- 
cwmtw with, 41-43; friends 
of English, enemies of French, 
42-43; troubles with, M-68. 

Jesuit RdaHmu, 54, IIIHM), 132 
Jesuits, The, wttle Montreal. 
W-M; Ofmoee FVmtenac, 88; 
come to Cutwb (l«2fi), 115- 
16; chartctoistics, 116, 117- 
18; missionaries to Indians, 
118 et aeq.; progress among 
French settlers, 122 et seq.; ser- 
vice to trade interests, 156-58 
iohet. Loom, 109, IM 

Kirke. Stt David, Conunander of 
J»waA pnvateen, 51 

I* Bane, Le Febvi« de, Gov- 
^or of New Raaee, M-M, 

U DuranUy^ OKviir Hani de, 

95, 164 

La For«t. Franstw DMndnne de. 
87.95, 163 ---HH-i—w, 

Lalemant, Jesuit nMaoary, 56 

UJtMam^MSamB, Antobe de 
87, 168 

La Roche, Sieur de. 32 

La Salle, Ren^-Robert Cavelier, 
Skut de^ foremost among 
French pathfinders, 87; bom 
(1643), 100; comes to Montreal 
(1666), 100-01; equips eipedi- 
tm (1660), 102; leceiveiitaiid. 
mg n^ti and land at Fort 
Aontenac, 103; goes to France 
for further aid, 103-04; first 
journey down the Illinois, 105- 
107; returns to Montreal, 107; 
readies the Mississippi, 107; 
winters at Fort Miiuni, 106; 
journeys down the Mississippi. 
108-00; plans for founding 
flokoy m lower Mivis^ 
mlqr (168^ 108-10; dei& 

(1687), 110; 1 

Lauzon. Jean de. Gorecnor of 

New France. 57 
Laval, Pransois-Xavier de. Abb« 
de Montigny. Bishop of Que- 
bec, arrives in New France 
(1659), 58; friction with civil 
authorities, 58-59; relatione 
with M^zy, 72-73; returns to 
colony, 88; opposed to Fraote- 
nac, 89 et seq.; bom (1622), 184; 
personal chanwteristidb 185- 
23; oppoeed to liquor traffic. 
Law. John, 67 

Le Caron, Josef^ BteoUet, ml*. 

L« Moyne, Jesuit misamiaiy, 57 

Lescarbot, Marc, 38 

Liquor traffic with the Tn.i8»«>. , 
126-27, 173-78 

Lonpwuil, Baron de, 142 

Louis XIV, centnlisaUon of 
power under. 4-5; interest m 
colonial ventures, 9; assumes 
power (1658), 60; edict of 
1663, 62-63; personal ii 
in New France, 70-71 

Maisonneuve, Paul de 
dey, Sieur de, 54-58 
Manceb Jeaime, 55 

Aurquetts, jMquesk Jeeoit 
nmiaiy, 103 

Matagoida Bay, 110 

A'uuin. Jules, not -'-trrnrtBih 

cdonial ventures, 8 
Meules, Intendaai of Neir 

France, 93 
M^^. de. Governor of Nmt 

France, 72-74 
Miami, Fort. 108 
MichilimaddiiaG^ 105^ 188 
Min|Mi Uuidsb 80 
Mississippi Rive^ !« 

reaches, 108 
Montmagny, Charles 

Huault. Skur dib 64k 88 



Montreal, wttled, 54^; annual 

fur fair at, 108-71; «w dto 

lionta, Pierre du Guast, Sieur 

de> granted trade monopoly. 

85; organizes company, S5-S9; 

loMs infioeBos at oonrt» 48 

New France, reflects old Fhmce^ 
10^ 14: difficulty of oommuni- 
eation with Europe, IS-IS; 
populatwn (1663), 61-62; 
colonial intendant, 67-69; ad- 
ministration, 69-70; requests 
for money, 71-72; period of 
prosperity, 78, 79; seigneurial 
system of land tenure, 133 
e( »eq.; militarv seigpoeuries, 
145-46; forced labor in, 150; 
menymaking in, 151; courts. 
151^; fur trade, 155 H aeq.; 
conqtetition with En^ish in 
trade, 159-41; liquor traffic, 
17S-78; effect of trade upon, 
178-79; agriculture, 180 et 
M^.; industries, 188 et aeq.; 
nunerals, 190-92; exclusion of 
Huguenots from, 195-96; trade . 
oonditiona, 196-201; aodal or- 
fluiaatkm, 208 el aeq.; aeign- 
mn, 208-07; hi»iM of habit- 
ants, 207-11; dothing, 211-13; 
food, 213-17; use of tobacco, 
217; festivities, 217-21; folk- 
lore, 221-22; poverty (rf habit- 
ants, 223; litigious diqxMition 
of people, 224-25; religion, 
825; characteristics of pei^le, 
225-26; types of popdation. 
187: lHUio0M>hy, 229-81 

New Vnxkot, Con^Mtny of, tee 
One Hundred 
G>mpanv of 

Newfoundland, Cartiir'a 
tions rests at, 18 

Niagara, fort rebuilt by Denon- 
viUe. 96; U Salle builds post 

CHd Couodl. 55 

One Hundred Associates. Com- 
pany of, organization, 50; 
powers and duties, 50-51; 
sends fleet to the St. Lawrence 
(1628), 51 ; sends ChampUun as 
representative, 52-53; charter 
revoked, 61; failure of, 88: 
^nts by, 137-88; lertriets 
uidustry. 196 

Qnondagas, The^ ChaoqiiaiB's 
attack upon, 46 

Ontario, Lake, 46 

OtUwa Rivert 44 

Perrot, Nicholas, 95, 168 
Pontgrave of St. Mdo, 82, 89 
Port Uoval (Annapolis). 36, 37 
Portugal, early explorations, 15, 

16; colonial ventures, 49 
Poutrincooft^ Keaooort de. 85, 


Quebec Champlain settles, 39- 
40; population, 48; surrenders 
to English, bi-oi; bums, 93; 
pivot of social Itfe, 204-05; 

lUcoIlets, The, 115 

Richelieu, f'-*"*'"*', interest in 
cdonial ventures under, 7-8; 
becomes diief minister of Louis 
Xin, 49; prevails upon King 
to organize colonismg oom- 

Kmy (1627), 50; interest b 
ew France not lailbfr W 
Richelieu River, 41 
Roberval, Jean Fhmgois de la 
Roque, Sieur dc^ enlists sarv- 
ices of Cartier, fS-«8, meets 
Cartier retumin'; >o Flrance. 
27; winters a'^: > '..y iouge, M 
Reo«B,birt^>la> < ij .^Sdkl«! 

Sable Island, 82 
Sagusnay B^ver, 84 


St Jdin'i, Newfoundland. S7 
St. Lawrence, Gulf of, 18 
St. Louis. Fort. 109 
St. MahM6-17, 19. £5, » 
i»t. Maurice, 28 

Seiipieun of New FtmoBB, 188 
<f«a^.. 808-07 

Sovereign Council. 68-06 
Spain, early ezpIorationB, 15. 16; 
^ colonial ventures. 49 
Stadacona (Lower Quebec). 81. 
26, 39 /. . 

Sully, Due de, oi^KMed to oolo. 

nul ventures. 7 
Sulpidans, The, lOff, 188 
Superior Coanca, aw Sovereign 


New Fmux (lOJf), 88; m* 
nves in Quebec. 06-67, 68, 78 
rqiort to the Emg, 80-81 
fosten industries, 188-80: 
plans trwie with West IndiM 
and France, 197-98 

Tbmt Rivers. 28, 8S 

Tioonderoga, fight between 
trench and Indiam at, 41 

Tocquw^ de. ¥naA hl^^m Uf, 

Tonty. Horn de, 87. 95. 104. 168 
Tracy, FkouviUe de, 74-78 


ifrnau tells Champlainflf 
lish shipwreck, 44-45 

West Indies, CaouiaBy of